HICKORY, NC - The Hickory Crawdads rallied for two in the bottom of the eighth and dealt the Delmarva Shorebirds a heartbreaking 2-1 loss in their 3,000th franchise game on Monday afternoon at L.P. Frans Stadium.
With the Shorebirds (10-9, 39-48) up 1-0 in the eighth, Yohel Pozo led off and got hit by a pitch. Brallan Perez laid down a sac bunt to advance Pozo to second and bring up Elio Castillo. Castillo lined one up the middle past pitcher Matt Trowbridge and into center. Pozo raced home and got there at the same time as the throw from Cole Billingsley in center. On a bang-bang play, Pozo was called safe and the Crawdads (12-7, 39-50) tied the game.
Castillo went to second on the throw home and got to third on a wild pitch. After Eric Jenkins walked, Trowbridge got the hook and Steven Klimek came in from the 'pen. Blaine Prescott came up and ripped a sharp grounder to third. Collin Woody had trouble with the grounder and managed to get Prescott at first base, but Castillo came around to score and the Crawdads took a 2-1 lead.
Christian Torres (1-1) handled a 1-2-3 ninth for the win; he pitched two perfect innings in relief and struck out three. Trowbridge (1-3) blew his second save of the year, giving up two runs on a hit, a walk, a hit batsman, and a strikeout in the loss.
Delmarva initially went on top in the fifth inning. Woody got plunked to lead off, his 24th HBP of the season, and got to second on a wild pitch. After a pair of strikeouts, Frank Crinella hit a soft grounder that snuck through the hole on the left side for a base hit. Woody trucked home and the Shorebirds went up 1-0.
Woody finished the game 1-for-3 with the 'Birds' only run. Crinella, Jake Ring, Milton Ramos, and Stuart Levy each had a single to account for the five Delmarva hits on the day.
The Crawdads needed just three hits in the winning effort. Castillo led the way by going 1-for-3 with the game-tying RBI and game-winning run. On the day after he won it with a walkoff home run and minutes after being named SAL Player of the Week, Prescott picked up the game-winning RBI.
The first part of the game was a relentless pitchers' duel between the Shorebirds' Alex Wells and the Crawdads' Walker Weickel. Wells lasted six scoreless innings, giving up just a pair of singles and no walks while striking out four. He has an 18-inning scoreless streak dating back to June 30, the longest scoreless streak for a Delmarva starter this season.
Former first-rounder Weickel tossed seven innings of one-run, five hit ball while walking one and striking out six. The run in the fifth was the first he had given up in 18.1 innings.
Delmarva played its first game as the Shorebirds on April 4, 1996, winning 5-4 at the Charleston RiverDogs. Before that season they played as the Albany (Ga.) Polecats. In their first 3,000 games, the Shorebirds are 1,463-1,537, good for a .488 winning percentage.
After an off day on Tuesday, the Shorebirds open a six-game homestand with the first of three against the Lexington Legends on Wednesday night. Lucas Humpal (4-7, 3.92) gets the start for Delmarva against a Lexington starter to be announced. First pitch is 7:05 p.m. with gates opening at 6:00. Early this morning the Baltimore Orioles confirmed that first baseman and two-time major league home run king Chris Davis is scheduled to rehab with the Shorebirds in Wednesday's game. It's also a Silver Sluggers game for fans 55 and up at Perdue Stadium. Pregame coverage on Fox Sports AM 960 and the MiLB First Pitch app begins at 6:50 p.m. 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.