The Hickory Crawdads were two outs away from their second 3-game win streak of the season Sunday night in Kannapolis, but the 'Dads coughed up their late lead by giving up single runs in the 8th, 9th, and 10th innings to fall to the Intimidators 6-5 at CMC-NorthEast Stadium.
In a sloppy game that featured seven combined errors and 14 total walks between the two teams, the Crawdads entered the 8th inning with a 5-3 lead they had held since the 5th. The Intimidators cut the score to 5-4 in the 8th with a bases-loaded, RBI walk, then tied it up in the 9th on an RBI single. In the 10th, a bases-loaded RBI sacrifice fly by Trey Michalczewski scored Cleuluis Rondon to end the game with a 6-5 Hickory loss.
Prior to the late collapse, the 'Dads built their 5-3 lead with four unearned runs on three Kannapolis errors. The Crawdads jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the 2nd when DH Joe Jackson reached on an error, stole second base, moved to third on a wild pitch, and finally scored on a RBI sacrifice fly by catcher Kevin Torres.
The Intimidators responded with two runs, one earned, in the bottom of the frame to put the 'Dads behind 2-1, but the Crawdads came back with three more runs to re-take the lead at 4-2. Two of the three runs in the frame were unearned thanks to a pair of Kannapolis errors, with back-to-back doubles by shortstop Michael De Leon and center fielder Evan Van Hoosier plating the lone earned tally.
The Intimidators picked up another unearned run in the 4th to make the score 4-3, before the 'Dads scored their final run in the 5th on a walk to Ronald Guzman, a single by Nomar Mazara, and a RBI base knock by Jackson to put the team ahead 5-3.
The 5-3 advantage would hold until the 8th, when Kannapolis began their 3-inning comeback. The Crawdads had a pair of opportunities in the latter innings to add to their lead, but the 'Dads left a runner at third in the 8th before Nick Vickerson was thrown out at home trying to score in the 9th to leave the door open for the Intimidators.
Kannapolis reliever Jordan Guerrero (2-0) earned the win for throwing three scoreless innings from the 8th through the 10th. Crawdads bullpen arm Ryne Slack (2-1) took the loss after allowing the tying run in the 9th and the losing run in the 10th.
Jackson paced the Hickory offense in the loss, going 2-4 with two RBI, a walk, a stolen base, and a run scored. Mazara also ended up with a multi-hit game finishing 2-5 with a run scored, while Van Hoosier (1-4, 2B, RBI, R), Jairo Beras (1-5, 2B, 3 K), and De Leon (1-4, 2B, R) all ended the night with doubles.
The Crawdads (19-23) and Intimidators (21-21) have now split the first two games of their series, with game three scheduled for Monday night at 7:05 pm.