Greensboro, NC - The Hickory Crawdads and Greensboro Grasshoppers both jumped out with early offense before the pitching took over Friday night, as the 3-2 score following the opening frame ended up being the final score resulting in a 'Dads loss to the 'Hoppers for the second straight night at NewBridge Bank Park.
The Crawdads opened the game with a pair of 1st inning runs against Grasshoppers starter Chuck Weaver, only to see Greensboro respond with 3 tallies off of Hickory starter Wes Benjamin in the bottom of the frame. Both pitching staffs settled down after the rocky start however, with the two teams combining for only 8 hits and no runs the rest of the way.
The 'Dads rally began with a one-out hit-by-pitch to Josh Altmann followed by a single from Dylan Moore to put a pair of runners aboard. Following a strikeout by Chuck Moorman, Jose Almonte delivered an RBI single to right to put the Crawdads on the board. Yeyson Yrizarri then hit what should have been an inning-ending ground ball to third, but 'Hoppers third baseman Aaron Blanton bobbled the ball allowing Moore to score for a 2-0 Hickory lead.
The Grasshoppers came right back with 3 runs of their own the next half inning, with a walk by Anfernee Seymour, a single from Justin Twine, and a 3-run home run by Josh Naylor to give Greensboro a 3-2 advantage before an out was recorded in the frame.
The hot-hitting start to the ballgame would then give way to 8 straight scoreless innings. Benjamin followed up the 1st inning by retiring 8 straight batters and pitching through the 5th. Weaver worked out of jams in both the 2nd and 3rd innings before retiring 8 in a row as well en route to completing 6 frames. The bullpens picked it up from there with Matt Ball and Emerson Martinez combining for 3 shutout innings for the 'Dads, while Andy Beltre and C.J. Robinson tossed 3 total scoreless frames to finish off the 3-2 win for the 'Hoppers.
Benjamin (2-4) took the loss for the Crawdads with 3 runs allowed on 6 hits, 1 walk, and a career-high 8 strikeouts over 5 innings, while Weaver earned the win for the Grasshoppers after giving up 2 runs, 1 earned, on 5 hits, 1 walk, and 7 Ks over 6 IP. Robinson (12) recorded the save with 1.2 scoreless frames to end the game.
Moore paced the 'Dads bats going 2-4 with a triple and a run scored, while Almonte finished 2-3 with an RBI, a stolen base, and a walk.
The Crawdads (0-2) will look to get their first win of the second half of the season Saturday night, with game 3 of the 4-game series against the Grasshoppers (2-0) scheduled for 7:00 pm.