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Tuesday, 06 May 2014 07:32

Crawdads Fall Short at Kannapolis

Kiner-Falefa has 2-4 night with a run scored Kiner-Falefa has 2-4 night with a run scored Hickory Crawdads

The Hickory Crawdads entered Monday night's game in Kannapolis with a chance to win a series against the Intimidators for the first time this season, but the 'Dads had to settle for a 4-game split as the Hickory offense struggled to produce in a 5-2 loss at CMC-NorthEast Stadium.

The Crawdads bats surged over the first two games of the series, combining to score 13 runs on 20 hits while winning both matchups. The last two contests saw the Hickory hitters slump to 3 total runs on 9 hits, resulting in consecutive losses.

Monday night it was Kannapolis starting pitcher Robinson Leyer who held the 'Dads in check, going five innings and allowing two unearned runs on four hits, one walk, and seven strikeouts. Relievers Andre Wheeler and Matt Abramson went the rest of the way, which each man throwing two scoreless frames.

Hickory starting pitcher Collin Wiles struggled in his second start of the season, going two innings while giving up four runs on six hits, two walks, and two Ks. The Crawdads bullpen held strong, as Ryne Slack, Cody Kendall, and Felix Carvallo allowed just one run on four hits and eight strikeouts over six innings of relief.

The Intimidators jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second, with center fielder Adam Engel lining a 2-out, 2-RBI single to left to put his team ahead. The lead ballooned to 4-0 the next inning, this time with Carl Thomore contributing an RBI sacrifice fly to right before Omar Narvaez drove in a run on a ground out.

The Crawdads jumped back in the game with a pair of unearned runs in the fifth to cut the deficit to 4-2. Shortstop Isiah Kiner-Falefa kick started the rally when he reached on an error by Kannapolis first baseman Danny Hayes, who pulled his foot off the bag too early on a groundout resulting in Kiner-Falefa being ruled safe. Hickory second baseman Nick Urbanus followed with an RBI double to the left-center field gap, scoring Kiner-Falefa on a close play at home that saw Kannapolis manager Pete Rose Jr. get ejected arguing the call. Nick Vickerson followed two batters later with an RBI double of his own off the top of the left field fence to plate Urbanus.

That would be the last time the 'Dads would threaten however, as Kannapolis plated a run in the bottom of the 6th to end the scoring at 5-2.

Kiner-Falefa ended the night 2-4 with a run scored, the first multi-hit game of the season for the Hawaii native. Vickerson finished 1-2 with an RBI double, a walk, and a hit-by-pitch, while Urbanus went 1-4 with an RBI double.

Leyer (2-2) earned the win for his solid start, while Wiles (1-2) took the loss for his abbreviated outing. Abramson earned his third save of the season for Kannapolis for throwing the final two innings of the game.

With the loss and the 4-game split the Crawdads leave town with a 14-15 record, while the Intimidators move to 16-15 with the win. The 'Dads will have an off day on Tuesday before starting a 7-game home stand on Wednesday.

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