Salisbury, MD - The Delmarva Shorebirds (18-20) scored five runs in the first inning and held on for an 8-6 win over the Hickory Crawdads (21-18) on Thursday night at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium.
The Crawdads took an early lead in the first inning. Lewis Brinson hit a lead off home run on a 3-2 pitch from Shorebirds starter Matt Taylor.
The Shorebirds countered with five hits and five runs in the first inning. Tucker Nathans led off with a double to straight away center field. Joel Hutter then grounded near the line behind the third base bag and Joey Gallo threw wild to first, allowing Nathans to score. Nik Balog followed with a double to left-center field to score Hutter. Wynston Sawyer singled to left to advance Balog to third. He scored after Sawyer was caught in between first and second to stretch the lead to 3-0. Two batters later, Lucas Herbst tripled to right-center field to score Sawyer. After a walk to Adrian Marin, Anthony Caronia slapped a single to left to plate Herbst.
The Crawdads cut into the deficit in the third. Nick Urbanus led off with a bunt single. Luis Marte singled to left field. After a walk loaded the bases, Nick Vickerson hit a two-run single to left-center field to trim the deficit to 5-3.
The Crawdads tacked on a run in the fourth. Nomar Mazara reached on a walk and later advanced to third on an error by Anthony Caronia. He scored on a wild pitch.
The Shorebirds tacked on a run in the fifth inning. Sawyer reached on an error by first baseman Joe Maloney. He moved to second on a walk and third on a bunt single. Sawyer scored on a soft grounder to short off the bat of Caronia.
In the sixth inning, the Shorebirds added to their lead. Nathans led off the inning with a pop up to right-center field that dropped in between the right fielder and center fielder. Two batters later, Nik Balog blasted a two-run homer to right field to give the Shorebirds an 8-4 lead.
Shorebirds starter Matt Taylor went six innings and allowed five hits and two earned runs. He induced three double plays.
The Crawdads pulled within two runs in the seventh. Urbanus and Marte hit back-to-back singles to open the inning. They both scored on hits by Vickerson and Alfaro.
Matt Hobgood gave up two runs in the seventh, but held the Crawdads scoreless in the eighth and ninth innings to earn his first save of the season.
Herbst went 3-for-4 with an RBI while Balog increased his hit streak to ten games by going 2-for-4 with three RBIs.
The Shorebirds and Crawdads play game two of the series on Friday, April 17 at 7:05pm. RHP Branden Kline is the scheduled starter for Delmarva.