Hickory, NC- The Crawdads came up just shy of clawing back from a nine-run deficit on Friday night against the Columbia Fireflies. The 'Dads ultimately fell 11-7 but had the tying run at the plate in the eighth inning.
The Fireflies erupted for nine runs across the first five innings. They scored seven runs off top Rangers prospect Hans Crouse in his 2.1 innings of work. Tai Tiedemann came into the game in relief and gave up another two runs to put the Crawdads behind 9-0.
The 'Dads got a run back in the bottom of fifth. Matt Whatley led off the inning with his tenth double of the season and advanced to third on Frainyer Chavez's single. Miguel Aparicio drove him in with a ground out.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Crawdads added three more runs to cut the score to 9-4. Kole Enright singled to get on base for Ryan Anderson. Anderson, playing in his debut for the 'Dads, hit a two-run homer to left-center. Whatley singled to keep things going and scored on a fielder's choice.
The Crawdads once again chipped away at the Fireflies lead with a run in the seventh inning. Jax Biggers and Tyreque Reed collected singles and Sherten Apostel hit a grounder to score Biggers and make the deficit four runs.
The scoring continued in the eighth as the 'Dads got another run. They loaded the bases on a walk by Whatley and singles by Chavez and Aparicio. Pinch-hitting Pedro Gonzalez stepped up to the plate as the tying run. He singled in Whatley and kept the bases loaded but the 'Dads were not able to get any more runs across in the inning.
In the top of the ninth the Fireflies added a pair of runs to take an 11-6 lead.
Ryan Anderson answered in the bottom of the ninth with his second homerun of the evening but the 'Dads were unable to score any more.
The series continues tomorrow night with Space Night with the first pitch slated for 7pm. It is also Catawba Science Center night and members can get up to four free tickets with their membership card at the K&L Dunrite Ticket Office. Following the game, some of your favorite Crawdads players will be participating in a post-game autograph session.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.