Catcher Will Allen drove in a career-high four runs and finished a triple shy of the cycle, but the Grasshoppers fell short in an 8-7 loss to the Hickory Crawdads on Monday night at First National Bank Field. Greensboro (29-32) and Hickory traded the lead in the middle innings until the Crawdads broke a tie game in the top of the eighth.
Allen finished 3-for-4 with a double, a home run, four RBI, and two runs scored while Jose Devers and Cameron Baranek each contributed a pair of hits for the Hoppers.
Greensboro scored three runs in the second inning when Allen smacked a 2-run double, scoring J.C. Millan and Baranek before coming home on a Garvis Lara base hit. Hickory responded with a 5-run fourth inning highlighted by Yonny Hernandez's bases-clearing triple.
With the Crawdads ahead 5-3 going into the bottom of the fourth, the Grasshoppers tied the game on Allen's 2-run home run (2). Greensboro pulled ahead, 6-5, in the fifth when Thomas Jones stole home on a perfectly-executed double-steal, with Devers swiping secod base.
Hickory tied the game in the top of the sixth when Ryan Dorow doubled, driving in Hernandez and Pedro Gonzalez for a 7-6 lead. The Hoppers tied the game, 7-7, in home half of the sixth when Micah Brown scored on a Lara groundout. Greensboro reliever Michael Mertz plunked Sam Huff to open the eighth inning, and the Crawdads catcher eventually came around to score on a Gonzalez base hit for a late lead, 8-7. Dorow led the Crawdads with a four-of-five night at the plate with three RBI.
Jean Casanova (2-3) earned the win, tossing 2 and 2/3 scoreless relief innings while striking out six and walking one. Mertz (0-3) took the loss, allowing a run on two hits over 2 and 1/3 innings. Hickory's Alex Speas tossed a scoreless ninth for the save (6).
Hoppers starter Ryan Lillie started off strong with three scoreless innings before giving up the big frame in the fourth. He finished with seven runs allowed (five earned) on eight hits in 5 and 2/3 innings, striking out five and walking two.
Greensboro and Hickory are back at it on Tuesday with a doubleheader beginning at 5:30 p.m.