The Hickory Crawdads displayed an aggressive attitude at the plate Monday night. The Crawdads pounded out nine hits and they also had 11 base runners. But they only scored twice in a 5-2 loss at Charleston against the RiverDogs at Joseph P. Riley Jr. Park.
The Crawdads () left 11 men on, including seven in scoring position. Ironically, the RiverDogs () left eight men on, including seven in scoring position. The difference in this one came in the form of shortstop Abiatal Avelino three-run homer in the second inning.
It was Avelino's first home run of the year, and just the second home run of his career. The loss also leaves Hickory four games out of first place. Hagerstown, which owns a 2 1/2 game lead on second-place Greensboro, defeated Delmarva 13-7 Monday night.
Ronald Guzman gave Hickory a 1-0 lead with a run-scoring single in the first inning. But the RiverDogs responded with Avelino's three-run shot off Hickory starter Tyler Smith (6-4) in the second; Charleston added another tally in the fourth on a two-out, RBI double from Tyler Wade that gave the RiverDogs a 4-1 lead.
The 'Dads got within 4-2 with back-to-back doubles by Ryan Cordell and Joe Jackson in the top of the fifth, but Charleston answered with an RBI single by Yeicok Calderon in the bottom of the inning that pushed its lead back to three runs. with a 5-2 score.
The Crawdads threatened in the ninth when De Leon and Cordell reached to bring Jackson to the plate representing the tying run. But RiverDogs closer Stefan Lopez picked up his fourth save as he struck out Jackson to end the game. Jackson was 2-3 with a double, an RBI, and two walks; Cordell was 3-5 with two doubles and a run scored.
Smith (6-4) took the loss after he allowed four runs on six hits, with two walks, and two strikeouts over four innings. Charleston reliever Chaz Hebert (2-3) earned the win. He gave up a run on five hits, with two walks, and five strikeouts in 4.2 innings.
The Crawdads and the RiverDogs will play game two of their three-game series tonight at 7:05 p.m.
LISTEN LIVE: Make sure to keep up with the Crawdads while they're on the road by listening in to the LIVE game broadcasts on the Crawdads Baseball Network! LISTEN LIVE
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!
Photo Courtesy: Ryan Cordell, Hickory Crawdads