After they feasted on a ten-run explosion in game one of this four-game series on Thursday, the Hickory Crawdads got a strong dose of Savannah's (70-38 overall; 26-16, second half of the South Atlantic League season) league-leading pitching staff.
The Crawdads (65-47; 24-19). who dropped a pair of games on Saturday and were limited to just one run in that double-header loss, were held scoreless in a 1-0 loss Sunday at Historic Grayson Stadium. The Crawdads didn't lose any ground, despite the loss. They remain three games behind the Hagerstown Suns for first place in the SAL's Northern Division. The Suns dropped an 8-1 decision against Charleston.
Sunday's match up featured a dandy pitching dual between Collin Wiles of the Crawdads and John Gant of the Sand Gnats. Each man kept the opposing team hitless going into the fifth inning. The Sand Gnats broke up Wiles' no-hit bid with a pair of infield singles in the fifth; the 'Dads spoiled Gant's perfect game with two walks and an infield single in the seventh.
The Crawdads only made two hits; the Sand Gnats finished with five---three of which were infield singles.
Both pitchers finished the day with no-decisions. Wiles tossed five shutout innings on two hits, a walk, and four strikeouts; Gant tossed seven scoreless innings with one hit, two walks, and eight strikeouts.
The scoreless stalemate ended in the bottom of the eighth, when 'Gnats center fielder Champ Stuart drove in the game's only run with a two-out, infield, run-single that saw the speedy hitter just beat the throw to first base by 'Dads shortstop Luis Marte. The Crawdads attempted a ninth inning rally with a leadoff single by Evan Van Hoosier and a one out walk by Nomar Mazara.
But Savannah closer Akeel Morris struck out both Kellin Deglan and Jairo Beras to end the game. Sand Gnats reliever Bret Mitchell (2-0) earned the win after throwing 1.1 scoreless innings. Patrick Kaminska (2-1) of the Crawdads was the hard-luck loser after he allowed just one run on three hits, with no walks, and two strikeouts over three innings. Morris earned his 12th save.
The Crawdads will continue their road trip when they begin a three-game series in Kannapolis against the Intimidators Monday night at 7:05 p.m.
Battle of the Bags: The Crawdads 3rd Annual Battle of the Bags cornhole tournament is scheduled for Thursday, August 14th! Make sure to sign up before hand for a $30 registration fee that includes a ticket to the 'Dads game vs. the Shorebirds and a FREE T-shirt! The winning team takes home $200! Don't miss out!
All-Star Jersey Auction: The Crawdads are auctioning off the authentic, game worn jerseys from this year's South Atlantic League All-Star Game in Hickory! Jerseys from both the Northern and Southern Division players and coaches are up for bid now on the 'Dads online auction page! AUCTION SITE
Stay Connected: Make sure to stay connected with the Crawdads by visiting the 'Dads website at www.hickorycrawdads.com, or by following us on Facebook and Twitter!