Crawdads Roll by Shorebirds in Opener
SALISBURY, MD - The Delmarva Shorebirds dropped their fifth in a row as the Hickory Crawdads steamrolled the Shorebirds 9-2 on Thursday night from Arthur W. Perdue Stadium.
Yerry Rodriguez (6-2) stifled Delmarva for five shutout innings as he earned the win for the Crawdads (40-23). Rodriguez allowed just two hits and two walks while striking out three.
Ofelky Peralta (4-2) suffered his second consecutive defeat for the Shorebirds (46-20). Peralta tossed five innings, giving up three runs on five hits and two walks with seven strikeouts.
Hickory broke the seal in the second inning. After a leadoff Melvin Novoa double, Pedro Gonzalez belted a homer over the left center field wall, giving the Crawdads a 2-0 lead.
The fifth saw Hickory extend their advantage. Frainyer Chavez began the inning with a bunt single and then stole second base. Chavez advanced to third on a ground out and then scored on Miguel Aparicio's groundout to short, putting the Crawdads up 3-0.
The visitors tacked on another run in the sixth. Novoa led off with a single and Gonzalez followed with a walk. A deep fly out then allowed both runners to advance to second and third. After a strikeout, Chavez legged out an infield single, allowing Novoa to score and pushing Hickory's lead to 4-0.
The Crawdads busted the game open in the seventh with four runs. With two on, Novoa smoked a double to the left field corner scoring both runners. Gonzalez subsequently blasted a ball to the batter's eye for a two-run homer, inflating the Hickory lead to 8-0.
The Shorebirds finally got on the scoreboard in the eighth. Seamus Curran snuck a groundball into right for an RBI single and Jean Carlos Encarnacion slashed an RBI knock into right field to make it an 8-2 game. The runs were the Shorebirds' first since the fifth inning on Monday night, a span of 29 complete innings between scoring tallies.
Hickory got one of those runs back immediately in the ninth. Novoa snuck a solo homer over the short corner in left field, giving the game its final score of 9-2.
Robbie Thorburn finished 2-for-4 with a double and a run scored for Delmarva, his 17th multi-hit game of the year. Encarnacion also went 2-for-4 and added an RBI. Will Robertson worked three walks, finishing 1-for-2 with a run scored.
Gonzalez's two home runs give him the first multi-homer game for a Shorebird opponent this season; he finished with four RBIs. Novoa paced the rest of the offense for Hickory, going 4-for-4 with a homer, two doubles, three RBIs, four runs scored, a walk, and a stolen base.
The Shorebirds will try to right the ship on Friday as they continue their series against the Crawdads. Hector Guance (3-2, 4.03) toes the rubber for Delmarva while Hickory hands the ball to Grant Wolfram (1-1, 2.90). First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. with gates opening at 6:00. The first 1,000 fans through the gates Friday night at Perdue Stadium receive a Josh Hader bobblehead presented by Perdue Foods. It's also Froggy 99.9 Big Beer Friday presented by First Class HVAC and Orange Friday. Pregame coverage on Fox Sports 960 AM and the MiLB First Pitch App begins at 6:50 with Sam Jellinek on the call.
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