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Friday, 30 May 2014 07:32

Hickory Crawdads Double Up Greenville on the Road

Van Hoosier leads Hickory's offense with a 3-for-5 night at the plate Van Hoosier leads Hickory's offense with a 3-for-5 night at the plate Hickory Crawdads

The Hickory Crawdads and hometown Greenville Drive had no problem collecting hits Thursday night with 22 total knocks between them, but a combination of bend-but-don't-break pitching and sterling defense led to a low scoring 4-2 'Dads win in game one of their series from Fluor Field.

The 'Dads were outhit in the game 13-9 but finished with three extra base hits to the Drive's one while also drawing three walks to Greenville's zero. The Hickory hitters plated single runs in four separate innings, while the Crawdads pitching staff contained the Drive offense to two runs in the 4th inning.

The game began with a 22-minute long top of the 1st inning, that eventually saw the 'Dads score a run on a bases loaded walk to Ryan Cordell for a 1-0 lead. While the Crawdads ended the inning with only the lone tally, Greenville starter Trey Ball exited the game early after needing 41 pitches to record only two outs.

Now facing Drive reliever Jacob Dahlstrand, the 'Dads added another single run in the 4th when Travis Demeritte doubled to start the frame and came in two batters later on a RBI groundout by Michael De Leon for a 2-0 advantage.

Greenville quickly tied the game with a pair of runs on four singles in the bottom of the inning for a 2-2 score, but the 'Dads answered right back with another lone run in the 5th to re-take the lead at 3-2. Nick Vickerson led off the frame with an infield single, moved to second on a ground out, then broke for third on a pitch that went between Drive catcher Jake Romanski's legs. Vickerson never stopped running on his steal of third and was able to come all the way home on the wild pitch to score and give the Crawdads the lead.

Hickory plated their last tally in the 6th with another double by Demeritte and a two-out, RBI single from Van Hoosier for the 4-2 final score.

Both teams had several chances to score other runs, only to be cut down by standout defensive plays. The Drive had a bases loaded, one out opportunity in the 5th, but leading hitter Jantzen Witte ground into a nicely turned 6-4-3 double play to end the inning. The Crawdads could have scored three runs in the 5th, but Nomar Mazara was thrown out at home on a great relay from left field while Ronald Guzman had a potential RBI single taken away on a diving stop by Greenville second baseman Wendell Rijo. Hickory turned in two more good defensive plays in the game, with Mazara making a diving catch in right field in the 5th and the team turning a 4-6-3 twin killing in the 8th.

Van Hoosier led the Crawdads offense with a 3-5 night that included a RBI, run scored and stolen base. Demeritte ended the game 2-4 with two doubles and two runs scored, while Cordell finished 1-3 with a double and a RBI.

'Dads reliever Ryne Slack (4-1) earned the win with 3.2 scoreless innings out of the bullpen after Hickory starter Chad Bell exited after 4.1 IP and two runs allowed. Dahlstrand (3-3) was saddled with the loss after giving up three runs on seven hits over his five innings of relief. Crawdads reliever Cody Kendall earned his second save of the season for pitching a scoreless 9th.

The win pushes the Crawdads back to .500 with a 26-26 record, while Greenville falls to 26-26 with the loss. The two teams will meet up again Friday night at 7:05 for game two of the four game series.

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