The Hickory Crawdads earned a split of their doubleheader matchup in Kannapolis Tuesday night, with the 'Dads dropping game one 3-2 before bouncing back with a 4-0, shutout win in game two at CMC-NorthEast Stadium.
Offense was at a premium for the Crawdads all evening, as the team was held hitless over the first five innings of game one, before taking advantage of four Intimidators errors in the nightcap to help secure the win. As a result it was pitching that proved to be the biggest factor in the 'Dads earning a split, with Hickory hurlers Ricardo Rodriguez and Felix Carvallo combining to toss the first Crawdads shutout of the season.
The first game saw the 'Dads struggle offensively against Kannapolis pitcher Andrew Mitchell, who no-hit Hickory over the first 5 innings while his team posted a 3-0 lead. The Crawdads finally broke through in the 6th when Lewis Brinson walked and Eduard Pinto broke up the no-no with a single to right, before Ronald Guzman plated both with a 2-RBI single to left. The Hickory rally stalled there though, with Intimidators reliever Storm Throne retiring the final six-straight to end the game.
Mitchell (1-0) earned the win for Kannapolis, with two runs allowed on two hits, four walks and six strikeouts over 5+ innings pitched. Hickory starter Frank Lopez (0-1) took the loss after allowing three runs, two earned, on seven hits, three walks and 2 Ks over his four innings on the mound.
The Crawdads retaliated in game two by jumping out to an early 1-0 lead in the 2nd thanks to a solo home run to left by Travis Demeritte. The 'Dads would go on to score single runs in the next three innings as well, with Luis Marte scoring on an error in the 3rd, Kevin Torres driving in Mazara with a single in the fourth, and Nick Urbanus scoring on a single by Brinson in the fifth to put Hickory ahead 4-0.
That would be more than enough for Rodriguez and Carvallo, who teamed up to hold Kannapolis to only five total base runners. Rodriguez (1-0) earned the win while making his first career start, with the Venezuela native tossing five shutout innings on two hits, one walk and seven strikeouts. Intimidators starter Andre Wheeler (0-1) took the loss after allowing three runs, two earned, on four hits over his 4 IP.
Carvallo finished the game with two hitless innings of relief, with only a one-out walk in the 7th blemishing his night.
Demeritte ended game two 1-3 with a home run, while Brinson went 2-4 with an RBI.
The 2-game split pushes the Crawdads record to 4-2, while the Intimidators stay at .500 with a 3-3 mark. The two clubs will finish their 3-game series Wednesday morning, with first pitch scheduled for 10:05 am.