The Hickory Crawdads received a couple of great pitching performances Wednesday morning, as starter Cole Wiper and reliever Collin Wiles combined to hold the Kannapolis Intimidators to just one run on five hits. Unfortunately the 'Dads offense couldn't provide any support for the duo, resulting in a 1-0 Crawdads loss at CMC-NorthEast Stadium.
The only run of the ballgame came shortly after the 10:00 am first pitch, when Kannapolis center fielder Adam Engel drew a leadoff walk in the 1st, stole second base, and scored one batter later on an RBI single from first baseman Danny Hayes. That lone tally would go the distance, as the Hickory offense was held without a run on three hits and one walk.
The Crawdads were actually held without a single base runner through the first five innings by Intimidators starter James Dykstra. The 6'4" right-hander set the first 17 'Dads down in order, before shortstop Luis Marte broke up the perfect game with a 2-out single to left in the 6th.
With the perfect game gone, the 'Dads put together a couple of late scoring opportunities in both the 7th and 8th. Eduard Pinto led off the seventh with a single to center, then moved to second on a sacrifice by Travis Demeritte. Nick Vickerson followed one out later with a walk to put two men on with two out, but Kannapolis reliever Jose Bautista struck out Kellin Deglan looking to end the inning.
The Crawdads threatened again in the eighth when first baseman Kevin Torres doubled to right with one out, but like in the 7th inning Bautista hunkered down and got the next two 'Dads to fly out.
The lack of offense spoiled the great pitching performances by Wiper and Wiles, as the 'Dads duo struck out 11 total Intimidators over 8 solid innings of work. Wiper (0-1) ended up as the hard luck loser for Hickory after allowing the lone run of the game on two hits, three walks and seven strikeouts over four innings pitched. Dykstra (1-1) earned the win for Kannapolis with 6.2 shutout innings on two hits, one walk and 6 Ks. Intimidators closer Jake Sanchez picked up his third save of the young season with a perfect ninth inning.
Wiles got a no-decision for his work, with the righty tossing four shutout frames on only three hits, no walks and four strikeouts.
Four Crawdads managed to reach base in the shutout, with both Torres and Marte going 1-3, Pinto finishing 1-4, and Vickerson going 0-2 with a walk.
With the loss, the Crawdads (4-3) leave Kannapolis having lost two of three from the Intimidators (4-3). It is the 'Dads first series loss to Kannapolis since August of 2011. The Crawdads will now come home for their 2014 Home Opener against Asheville, with first pitch Thursday scheduled for 7:00 pm.