Salisbury, MD - The Delmarva Shorebirds lost their sixth straight game with a 5-3 defeat to the Hickory Crawdads in the homestand finale. Delmarva (35-31) is mired in their longest losing streak of the season as they come down the stretch of the first half.
Hickory jumped out to an early lead, scoring first for the third straight night. Mitch Horacek had not allowed an earned run in three consecutive starts, but the scoreless streak ended with a two-out RBI double by Ryan Cordell in the first inning.
With an unlikely source of power, Delmarva tied the game in the third inning. Gregory Lorenzo pulled a wall-scraping home run down the left field line, his first of the season and just the sixth of his minor league career. The solo shot made it 1-1 after three innings.
The Crawdads immediately responded with two runs off Horacek in the fourth inning. A double by Ronald Guzman put runners on second and third after a leadoff walk in the frame. Ryan Cordell scampered home on a wild pitch, and then Guzman scored on an infield single by Travis Demeritte on a bouncing ball knocked down by Drew Dosch at third.
Chance Sisco, the Shorebirds' catcher, blasted another solo home run for Delmarva to cut into the Hickory lead. The Crawdads, though, added key insurance runs in the eighth inning. With an RBI double by Joe Jackson, and another RBI infield single for Demerrite, Hickory led 5-2 after the top of the eighth.
The insurance runs proved crucial as Delmarva scored in the last of the eighth. Mike Yastrzemski ripped a double to the left-center gap, and then came around on an RBI single by Trey Mancini. That brought the tying run to the plate but Delmarva could not progress any further.
Tyler Smith earned his third win of the year for Hickory, while Josh McElwee recorded his third save of the season with a perfect ninth inning. Mitch Horacek settled for a loss despite a quality start, ending his streak of three consecutive wins.
The Shorebirds now travel for the final series before the All-Star Break at West Virginia. Left-hander Luis Gonzalez (1-0, 1.69) starts the opener for Delmarva against fellow southpaw Cody Dickson (2-7, 5.60). First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 pm at Appalachian Power Park on Thursday evening.