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Thursday, 17 July 2014 23:59

Crawdads Score Early, But Not Enough, Losing to Lakewood

Evan Van Hoosier hits eighth home run of the season in loss Evan Van Hoosier hits eighth home run of the season in loss Hickory Crawdads

The Hickory Crawdads jumped out to a 1st inning advantage and seemed to be on their way to a win Thursday night, but the initial offense didn't hold as the 'Dads lost to the visiting Lakewood BlueClaws 4-3 in front of 2,673 fans at L.P. Frans Stadium.

A leadoff solo home run by All-Star Evan Van Hoosier and a RBI single from Kellin Deglan headlined a two-run, four-hit 1st inning for the Crawdads to give them an early 2-0 lead. The fast start promptly ran out of steam however, as the 'Dads were held to one run on three hits the rest of the way. The defeat marked just the sixth time all year that Hickory scored the first run in a game and failed to hold on for the victory.

Following the Crawdads initial 2-0 surge, the BlueClaws responded with a solo home from All-Star Willians Astudillo in the 2nd and a 2-RBI single by Zach Green in the 3rd to take a 3-2 advantage. The 'Dads came back with the game-tying tally in the bottom of the 4th, when Jairo Beras singled to start the frame before eventually scoring on a RBI base knock by Luis Marte to deadlock the score at 3-3.

The tie wouldn't last long though, as Lakewood took advantage of a rare throwing error from Hickory shortstop Michael De Leon in the top of the 5th to score an unearned run and take the 4-3 lead they would go on to win by. The 'Dads threatened for the last time in the home half of the 5th with men at the corners and one out, but the Crawdads came up empty in the frame and went rest of the game without another base runner; a string of 14-consecutive batters retired by the BlueClaws pitching staff.

'Claws reliever Joe DeNato (1-0) earned the win with 3.1 perfect innings out of the bullpen with four strikeouts. Teammate Aaron Baker picked up his first save of the year with 1.1 perfect frames to close out the game. Crawdads starter Ricardo Rodriguez (5-5) took the loss after giving up four runs, three earned, on five hits, two walks, and five strikeouts over five innings pitched.

Van Hoosier finished the night 1-4 with his eighth homer of the season, while both Michael De Leon and Joe Jackson went 1-3 with a walk. Deglan ended the game 1-4 with a RBI.

The Crawdads (16-12) will now go on the road for a four-game series in Greensboro against the first place Grasshoppers. First pitch for game one Friday night is scheduled for 7:00 pm.

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