The Hickory Crawdads find themselves just two games out of first place in the Northern Division of the South Atlantic League. Hickory, which has given up just two runs in its last three games, got another strong pitching performance Friday night in a 1-0 win against the Greensboro Grasshoppers at L.P. Frans Stadium.
The Crawdads (69-48 overall; 28-20, second half of the SAL season), winners of four straight, scored the game's only run in the bottom of the eighth inning on Michael De Leon's sacrifice fly. Nick Urbanus, the No.9 hitter in Hickory's lineup, tripled to lead off the inning. Pitchers Collin Wiles and Patrick Kaminska kept the Grasshoppers (73-45; 29-19) scoreless on eight hits---seven singles---with six strikeouts. The shutout was the eighth of the season for the 'Dads pitching staff, which has given up only two runs on 14 hits over the team's last 32 innings played.
Greensboro reliever Esmerling De La Rosa (3-2), who coughed up the game's only run, suffered the loss. One batter The Crawdads trail first-place Hagerstown by two games for first place. The Suns, who play at Hickory August 22-24, defeated Kannapolis 6-5 Friday night.
Wiles, who got the start Friday night, scattered seven hits with five strikeouts in 5.1 innings. Wiles left the game with two 'Hopper base runners in scoring position and one out in the sixth, but Kaminska (3-1) came on in relief and kept the game scoreless.
Kaminska tossed 3.2 shutout innings of his own to get the win. And the Crawdads also received their share of standout defensive plays. Left fielder Joe Jackson threw out a runner at plate from left field in the fourth; first baseman Ronald Guzman came home on a one-hopper in the sixth to gun down another runner at the plate. And new Crawdads catcher Marcus Greene threw out two would-be base stealers in his SAL debut.
The 'Dads take on the 'Hoppers in game three of their four-game series tonight at 7:00 p.m., at L.P. Frans Stadium.
Crawdads @ Home: The 'Dads are home for the next two days at L.P. Frans Stadium, with the ZOOperstars at the park on Saturday and Willy Wonka Night on Sunday! Don't miss out! TICKETS
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!