The Hickory Crawdads normally potent offense was held in check by a normally below average Lakewood BlueClaws pitching staff Tuesday night, as the 'Dads were shutout in a 7-0 loss to the 'Claws at L.P. Frans Stadium.
The shutout loss was the fourth of the season for Hickory, while the shutout victory marked the fourth of the year for Lakewood as well. The 'Dads bats were held to three total hits in the game, with Kellin Deglan's one-out double in the 9th standing as the only knock after the first inning. The lack of offense spoiled a solid performance by both Crawdads starter Tyler Smith and reliever Patrick Kaminska, who kept the team in the game over the first eight innings.
Smith started the night in dominant fashion, as the right-handed hurler struck out the side in the 1st inning. The BlueClaws adjusted in the 2nd frame however, as right fielder Dylan Cozens lined the first pitch of the inning over the left field wall for a solo home run and a 1-0 Lakewood lead. The advantage doubled to 2-0 with another single tally in the 4th for the 'Claws, this time on a RBI double from third baseman Mitch Walding.
The top of the 6th brought another single run for the BlueClaws on another solo homer by Cozens, this time on a big fly to right to push the 'Claws advantage to 3-0. Keeping with trend of scoring a single run in even numbered frames, Lakewood plated one run in the 8th on another RBI double by Walding for a 4-0 score. The BlueClaws broke the game open in the top of the 9th, bringing home three runs on three hits against Hickory reliever Jose Valdespina for the final 7-0 score.
Kellin Deglan (1-3, 2B, BB) and Jairo Beras (0-2, BB, HBP) were the only two Crawdads to reach base safely twice in the game. Cozens paced the BlueClaws with a 4-5 game with two homers and three RBIs, while Walding finished 3-5 with three doubles and two RBIs.
'Claws starting pitcher Yoel Mecias (1-0) earned the win in his first start of the season for Lakewood, as the left-hander tossed five shutout innings on two hits, three walks, and seven strikeouts. Smith (4-3) took the loss for the 'Dads with three runs allowed on seven hits, no walks, and five strikeouts during his 5.1 frames on the mound. Kaminska finished the night with one run allowed on two hits over 2.2 innings pitched from the bullpen.
Hickory (15-11) will try to bounce back against Lakewood (9-17) in game two of the three game series, Wednesday afternoon at 12:00 pm.