HICKORY, N.C.– The Delmarva Shorebirds (27-36) stranded 10 base runners including the tying run at third in the eighth and the tying run at second in the ninth as the Hickory Crawdads (38-29) took game one at L.P. Frans Stadium, 5-4. The Shorebirds top of the order, Lucas Herbst, Tucker Nathans and Creede Simpson accounted for eight of the 12 hits.
The Crawdads used two home runs in the third inning to grab a 3-0 lead. With two outs, Joey Gallo hit a solo home run to straight away center field. After a single by Nick Williams to left, Ryan Rua hit a two-run homer to right-center field.
The Shorebirds responded in the fourth inning. Torsten Boss hit a lead off double off the wall in right field. With two outs, Gregory Lorenzo singled into center field to score Boss. Then, Lucas Herbst doubled to the warning track in left-center field to plate Lorenzo.
Hickory scored twice in the fifth to extend the lead. Gallo doubled home Luis Marte, who led off with a single. Gallo scored from second on a groundout to first as Creede Simpson was unaware that Gallo had turned around third.
Shorebirds starter Matt Taylor went through the sixth inning for a fifth time this season. He allowed nine hits and five runs and was pinned with the loss.
The Shorebirds cut the deficit to one in the seventh. Herbst led off with a bunt single. He moved to third on a double to deep left field by Nathans. Herbst scored on a wild pitch. Simpson singled up the middle to score Nathans and trim the deficit to 5-4.
Hickory starter Luis Parra earned the win over five innings.
The Shorebirds had chances in the late innings. In the eighth, the first two men reached. Lorenzo then grounded into a double play and Narron was stranded at third. In the ninth inning, Simpson hit a one out double down the left field line. Hickory reliever Cody Kendall, who picked his sixth save, got Balog to pop out to left and Sawyer to fly out to right to end the game.
The Shorebirds and Crawdads continue the series on Friday, June 14, at 7 p.m. LHP Josh Hader is the scheduled starter for Delmarva.