Hickory, NC- The Crawdads took game one of the Northern Division Championship Series 4-3 over the Delmarva Shorebirds on Wednesday night.
'Dads starter Ricky Vanasco started the game off with a strikeout on a 97 mile per hour fastball. The Shorebirds were able to get a pair of runs across to take a 2-0 lead.
The Crawdads quickly erased the deficit and climbed ahead 3-2. Facing the South Atlantic League's right-hander of the year, Grayson Rodriguez, the 'Dads worked a 33 pitch first inning, collecting a walk and three hits. Jax Biggers and Josh Jung smacked back-to-back doubles for the first run of the inning. Pedro Gonzalez drew a walk to put runners aboard. Jung and Gonzalez advanced on a wild pitch. Miguel Aparicio doubled down the left field line to bring both runs in and give the Crawdads a 3-2 lead.
Vanasco finished his evening after six innings, giving up two runs, on seven hits and two walks. He struck out seven batters.
In the home half of the sixth, Tyreque Reed extended the lead to two runs with a solo homerun to center field.
Nick Snyder came into the game and pitched a scoreless seventh inning but gave up a run in the eighth to make it a 4-3 ballgame. Kelvin Gonzalez took over in the ninth, striking out the first two batters and getting the final out on a groundball to second.
The two teams will head to Delmarva for games two and three of the series on Friday and Saturday night. The winner of the series will face the Southern Division Champion in a best of five series beginning Monday.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.