It took a while, but the Hickory Crawdads finally awoke from their slumber. But depite a late rally, the Crawdads came up short as Delmarva hung on to win 5-2 Friday night at L.P. Frans Stadium.
Trailing 4-0, the Crawdads (70-64 overall; 29-26, second half of the South Atlantic League season), who have dropped six straight, broke through with a pair of runs in the bottom of the seventh. That offensive outburst broke an 18-inning scoreless drought. Jairo Beras lined a two-run double inside the bag at third to cut the 'Dads deficit in half at 4-2.
The Shorebirds (62-62; 24-31) added an insurance run in the top of the eighth, but Hickory came battling back and loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom of the ninth. Unfortunately, Kevin Torres. lined out to right field to end the game.
The loss leaves Hickory six games out of first place in the SAL's Northern Division behind Hagerstown. The Crawdads are also 7 1/2 games behind Greensboro in the wildcard race. Lakewood defeated Hagerstown 6-4; Kannapolis knocked off Greensboro 6-3 Friday night.
The game, like many in recent week, featured a pretty good pitching dual between Anyelo Leclerc of the Crawdads and Delmarva ace Steven Brault.
Leclerc retired eight in a row before the Shorebird () finally pushed a run across in the fourth.
Cole Wiper came on in relief in the fifth and coughed up a solo home run to Josh Hart (his first of the year) to lead-off the inning. Delmarva added to its lead with two more runs in the sixth, thanks to a pair of hits and an error. Both runs were unearned and Delmarva led 4-0.
Brault (9-8), who picked up the win, tossed six shutout innings before reliever Derrik Bleaker, who was making his South Atlantic League debut, came on in the seventh. The 6-foot=5 right-hander stuck out Ronald Guzman to start the inning before he gave up consecutive singles to Evan Van Hoosier and Zach Cone that set the stage for Beras.
Garrett Cortright survived a shakey performance in the ninth and picked up his first save of the year. Brault, who got the start Friday night, scattered three hits, with no walks, and four strikeouts. Leclerc (2-4) took the loss. He gave up a run on four hits, with no walks, and strikeouts during his four-inning stint.
Cone had his first multi-hit game of the season going 3-4 with a run scored. Beras went 2-3 with a double, 2 RBI, and a walk; Van Hoosier ended the game 2-4 with a run scored.
The Crawdads take on Delmarva tonight in game three of their four-game series at 6:00 p.m.
Crawdads @ Home: The Crawdads are home for two more days on the current home stand, with the SOLD OUT Christian Concert on Saturday and Kids Run the Show/Church Bulletin Sunday! Don't miss out!
Boy Scout Night: Limited space is still available for the Crawdads LAST Boy Scout Night on Friday, August 22nd! Bring your Boy Scout troop out for a night of baseball followed by a post-game movie and camping under the stars on the field of L.P. Frans Stadium! For more information or to reserve your spot, email Crawdads Group Sales Associate Zach Miller, or call (828) 322-3000!
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!
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!