GREENSBORO, N.C. (June 13, 2018) -- Cameron Baranek hit the Grasshoppers' first gland slam of the season in a 7-5 win in seven innings over the Hickory Crawdads on Wednesday at First National Bank Field.
Hickory took the game's first lead with two runs in the third on Clayton Middleton's 2-run double, scoring Tyler Ratliff and Pedro Gonzalez. Greensboro returned serve on Michael Hernandez's 2-run double in the bottom of the fourth, driving in J.C. Millan and Baranek.
Both team set off fireworks in the fifth inning. The Crawdads reclaimed the lead on Preston Scott's solo home run (1), but Greensboro answered with a 5-run frame in the home half of the inning.
With two on and one out in the bottom of the fifth and Greensboro down 3-2, Hickory turned to reliever Demarcus Evans in place of A.J. Alexy. Millan drew a walk to load the bases, and Baranek followed with his 4-run blast to leapfrog the Crawdads for a 6-3 Grasshoppers lead. Garvis Lara added a sacrifice fly to score Marcos Rivera later in the inning for a 7-3 advantage.
The Crawdads chipped away at the Hoppers lead in the ensuing frame, chasing Grasshoppers starting pitcher Taylor Braley from the game in the process. Braley plunked Tyreque Reed to open the inning, and Sam Huff and Kole Enright followed with consecutive base hits, bringing in a run and ending Braley's outing. Two batters later, Huff scored on a Yonny Hernandez grounder to cut Greensboro's lead to 7-5.
Braley (4-5) earned the win, allowing five runs on seven hits over 5.0 innings, striking out five and walking two. Alexy (2-5) suffered the loss, giving up four runs on five hits while striking out six and walking three.
With the win, Greensboro snapped it's 5-game losing streak, it's second-longest of the season.
The Grasshoppers and Crawdads play Game 2 of the doubleheader on Wednesday afternoon before wrapping up this series on Thursday at 7:00 p.m. Greensboro is also hosting the 59th Annual South Atlantic League All-Star Game presented by Pizza Hut on Tuesday, June 19. Tickets for all games are availale online at gsohoppers.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.