SALISBURY, MD - For the first time in franchise history, the Delmarva Shorebirds are 7-0 to start the season after a 5-1 win over the Hickory Crawdads on Wednesday afternoon at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium.
The Shorebirds (7-0) had never started better than 6-0 in their 23-year history before sweeping two series against Asheville and the Crawdads (0-6) for a perfect homestand. Delmarva now has the best record in all of Minor League Baseball and is one of only two remaining undefeated teams. The Cedar Rapids Kernels (Class-A, MIN) of the Midwest League are 4-0 as of press time.
Michael Baumann (2-0) was dominant for his second win of the season, allowing one run on three hits in six innings. He walked two and struck out nine for his first quality start of the year.
Tyler Phillips (0-2) took the loss for Hickory, giving up two runs on six hits in five innings.
Delmarva opened the scoring in the bottom of the first. Kirvin Moesquit led off with a single, got to second on a wild pitch, and stole his way to third. Branden Becker then brought him home with an RBI groundout to put the Shorebirds up 1-0.
The Crawdads got that run back in the top of the third. Justin Jacobs found the open space in left field for a leadoff double, then after a Yonny Hernandez sac bunt, Eric Jenkins laced a single into center to bring Jacobs around and make it 1-1. It was the first time all season the Shorebirds fell back into a tie after taking a lead.
The deadlock would be short-lived. With one out in the bottom of the third, Moesquit cracked a soft liner into shallow center field. Jenkins sold out for the dive but missed the ball, allowing it to get behind him and roll to the warning track. Moesquit then turned on the afterburners, rounding second and immediately thinking about home. The relay throw came in up the line to the first base side, and Moesquit slid in ahead of the swooping tag, touching home plate for an inside-the-park home run to make it 2-1.
Video: Moesquit legs out inside-the-park HR
The Shorebirds surged further ahead with a three-spot in the sixth. Hickory reliever Dario Beltre hit two batters and walked another to load the bases with one out. Jean Carrillo then met Joseph Kuzia from the bullpen with a single to center to make it 3-1. After a strikeout, Moesquit poked a full count pitch into center, bringing two more around and putting the home side up 5-1.
Scott Burke pitched two scoreless innings in relief of Baumann before handing it off to Nick Vespi in the ninth. Miguel Aparicio, Tyler Ratliff, and Melvin Novoa all singled, loading the bases with two outs for potential tying runner Chad Smith. Vespi, undeterred, struck out Smith on an inside breaking ball, bringing final punctuation to the perfect week.
Moesquit led the way at the plate for the Shorebirds, going 3-for-4 with his inside-the-parker, two runs, three RBIs, and two stolen bases. Seamus Curran went 2-for-3 with a walk and a run, and Carrillo finished with two hits and an RBI.
Jacobs finished 2-for-3 with a double and a run in his first action of the season for the Crawdads.
The seven-game winning streak is one shy of the Shorebirds' longest from last year, an eight-gamer from July 17-25. Through the first 63 innings this season, Delmarva has trailed at the end of two.
The Shorebirds now hit the road for the next seven games, starting with the first of four at the Lakewood BlueClaws on Thursday night. Cameron Bishop (1-0, 1.50) gets the nod for Delmarva against Lakewood's Will Stewart (1-0, 0.00). First pitch is set for 6:35 p.m., and pregame coverage on Fox Sports 960 AM and the MiLB First Pitch App begins at 6:20 with Will DeBoer on the call.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.