Game story Uncategorized

Crawdads Win 9-Inning Game of “I Don’t Want It, You Take It”, Defeat Greensboro 4-3.

Remember being a little kid with your friends and you’d pick teams to play whatever sport was in season, and there was that one kid no one wanted on their team. And there’d be this long back-and-forth of, “I don’t want him, you take him.” The Hickory Crawdads and Greensboro Grasshoppers played nine innings of that game Tuesday night.

Greensboro had the final “you can take it” in the eighth and Hickory finally said, “okay” and went home with a 4-3 win in front of 1,382 fans at L.P. Frans Stadium.  The victory wrapped up a 3-1 series win over the Grasshoppers and completed a 5-3 homestand, the longest of the season.

Unfortunately for Hickory, it did not make up ground on Delmarva (Md.), which defeated in-state rival Hagerstown 5-4 to move to 40-11, seven games ahead of the Crawdads in the South Atlantic League’s Northern Division. However, the Crawdads (33-18) moved within a game of Greensboro (34-17) for second place, which could have a bearing at the end of the season. If Delmarva goes on to win the first half – the Shorebirds now lead Greensboro by six games with 19 to play – and then takes the second half, as well, the team in the division with the next best record will take a wildcard spot in the playoffs.

Even by Low-A ball standards, this was an ugly one. On the books, Hickory walked seven, while Greensboro hit three batters and walked two. Combined, the teams – among the top offenses in the SAL – had just ten hits and went 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position. It took two errors in the eighth that literally gave the Crawdads the decisive run.

Facing Cole Winn, the Grasshoppers scored in the first. With two outs, Winn walked both Mason Martin and Rodolfo Castro. Crawdads killer Michael Gretler – he went 4-for-8 with four walks after entering Sunday’s game at .182/.250/.218 – singled in Martin to make it 1-0.

The Crawdads punched back with two-out firepower in the bottom of the inning. Greensboro starter Brad Case entered the game with only three home runs allowed over 55.2 innings. Curtis Terry and Sherten Apostel added two more to Case’s ledger after putting up back-to-back solo shots and Hickory then lead 2-1. Terry’s blast to left was his 12th of the season and Apostel hit his fourth.

The score remained 2-1 until the seventh, but both teams missed opportunities to add runs. In the top of the second, Winn walked two of the three he faced. However, the right-hander induced Zac Susi to hit into a double play. After Kyle Mottice walked to bring up Ji-Hwan Bae, rather than allow the leadoff hitter batting .320 to take cuts against a struggling pitcher, Mottice took off for second and was thrown out by catcher Matt Whatley.

It was Hickory’s turn to botch a rally in the third. Jonathan Ornelas was hit by a pitch, then moved to second on a wild pitch and to third on Miguel Aparicio’s lineout to right. With the infield playing in to cut off the run at third, Terry hit a ball to the second baseman Castro, playing on the shortstop side of the bag. Castro fields the ball, checks Ornelas twice at third. Seemingly daring Castro to throw to first so Ornelas could sprint home, Castro took the day and threw behind Ornelas to catch him returning to the bag.

Greensboro put seven runners on over four innings against Winn, but scored just the one in the first. Case retired ten in a row after hitting Ornelas before running into trouble in the sixth. With one out Case hit both Terry and Apostel before the Grasshoppers signaled for Will Gardner in relief. Gardner walked Melvin Novoa on four pitches to bring up Pedro Gonzalez. After talking the first pitch for a ball, Gonzalez hit into a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning.

Hickory soon regretted the missed opportunity when Greensboro tied the game in the seventh against reliever Scott Engler. With one out, Justin Harrer walked and moved to third on Brett Kinneman’s double. Susi’s fly ball to left scored Harrer to tie the game at 2.

Greensboro took the lead in the eight when Fabricio Macias lined a Grant Anderson pitch over the wall in left, his seventh of the season.

Hitless since the first, with one out the Crawdads got infield hits from both Miguel Aparicio and Terry. From there, the inning fell apart for the Grasshoppers. Novoa hit a routine fly to center for the second out. As the ball returned to the mound, the throw by Bae skips past the pitcher Conner Loeprich to the backstop. Alertly, while Greensboro argued as to whether it had called time, Terry and Apostel moved up to second and third.

It then got worse for the Grasshoppers. With Gonzalez at the plate, Loeprich bounced a pitch to the backstop. Terry scored on the wild pitch and when Susi’s throw to the plate zoomed past Loeprich (1-2) covering, Apostel sprinted all the way home for the go-ahead run.

Anderson (5-3) pitched a perfect ninth to close out the game.

After a day off Wednesday, the Crawdads return to action Thursday to start a four-game series at Kannapolis.

Series Preview

Series Preview: Greensboro Grasshoppers at Hickory Crawdads May 25-28

Greensboro Grasshoppers (Pittsburgh Pirates) (33-14, second place, South Atlantic League Northern Division)

Hickory Crawdads (Texas Rangers) (30-17, third place, South Atlantic League Northern Division)

Currently in third place, the Hickory Crawdads play an important series in the chase for the first-half Northern Division title with a four-game series against Greensboro.



WHERE IS IT?: 2500 Clement Blvd., 1 mile west of U.S. Hwy 321, near entrance to Hickory Airport.


Saturday: Greensboro at Hickory, 6:30 p.m. ZOOperstars! appearance. Salute to Troops (active and former military received two free tickets, free parking)

Sunday: Greensboro at Hickory, 3:00 p.m. BirdZerk! appearance. Church Bulletin Sunday (Bring a church bulletin to the ticket office and receive a $6 ticket with $4 from each ticket donated back to the respective church),

Monday: Greensboro at Hickory, 6:30 p.m. Make-a-Difference Monday (Donate a pair of shoes to receive two free tickets to the game. Salute to Troops (active and former military received two free tickets)

Tuesday: Greensboro at Hickory, 6:30 p.m. Dollar Dog Tuesday ($1 hot dogs, dogs admitted for $1)

TICKETS: $9 tickets in advance, $10 at the gate. Children (12 and under) and seniors $8, $15 for VIP section.

PARKING: All parking is $3.



The Crawdads swept a three-game series at Greensboro during the first road trip of the season. This is the first series at L.P. Frans with Greensboro as the affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Pirates affiliation was with West Virginia from 2009 to 2018. During that stretch, the Power was 52-51 overall, 30-27 at L.P. Frans. The Pirates-affiliated Power won the season-series 12-7 a year ago, including an 8-5 mark at Hickory.

PROBABLES (Greensboro/ Hickory)


Saturday: RHP Osvaldo Bido vs. RHP Yerry Rodriguez

Sunday: RHP Colin Selby vs. RHP Hans Crouse

Monday:  RHP Alex Manasa vs. RHP Ronny Henriquez

Tuesday: RHP Brad Case vs. RHP Cole Winn



With 23 games left in the first half and the Crawdads 6.5 games behind first-place Delmarva and three in back of second-place Greensboro, this is probably a series Hickory needs to win in order to remain in the race for the first-half title. The Crawdads will close the first half with a seven-game trip to Greensboro and Delmarva.

Though they have lost just one series at home, Hickory has been pretty ordinary at home. The Crawdads are just 13-10 at L.P. Frans after a four-game split this week against Lexington. They are 7-7 over their last 14 at home.

Manager: Matt Hagen (2nd season)

Prospects – (team rankings are by

RHP Hans Crouse No.1 (No. 80 in top-100)

RHP Cole Winn No. 2

IF Jonathan Ornelas No. 18

3B Sherten Apostel No. 22

RHP Ronny Henriquez No. 30

Possible lineups: C: Matt Whatley (.182/.306/.231) or Melvin Novoa (.313/.365/.438); 1B Curtis Terry (.247/.308/.530); 2B Frainyer Chavez (.246/.338/.270); 3B Sherten Apostel (.229/.298/.353); SS Jonathan Ornelas (.310/.365/.462); LF: Pedro Gonzalez (.245/.304/.442); CF: Miguel Aparicio (.268/.333/.393); RF: Jose Almonte (.177/.219/.291)

SAL Rankings:

Individual Batting:

Curtis Terry – 1st doubles (20), 4th home runs (9), tied for 3rd RBI (35), 5th total bases, 5th slugging pct. (.530),

Pedro Gonzalez – Tied for 8th homers (7)

Jonathan Ornelas – 6th batting avg. (.310),

Matt Whatley – 6th walks, tied for 6th stolen bases (13)


Individual pitching:

Grant Anderson – Tied for 6th wins (4), tied for 10th games pitched (15)

Tim Brennan – Tied for 6th wins (4), 8th WHIP (1.01)

Scott Engler – Tied for 6th saves (4)

Yerry Rodriguez – Tied for 6th wins (4),


Team Batting:

Slash line (BA. OBP/ SLG/ OPS):.244 (5th)/ .311 (8th)/ .405 (2nd)/ .717 (3rd).

Other key rankings: 1st stolen bases, 2nd home runs, 3rd runs, 3rd triples, 3rd total bases, 11th doubles

Team Pitching:

2nd fewest hit batters, 3rd ERA (3.30), 3rd WHIP (1.17), 3rd fewest runs allowed, 3rd fewest home runs allowed, 4th fewest earned runs allowed, 4th fewest hits allowed.


Hitting (Last 10 games): Miguel Aparicio (.333/.425/.545, 2 triples, 1 HR, 4 walks, 3 steals, 8 RBI); Sherten Apostel (.359/.381/.564, 3 doubles, 1 triple, 1 HR, 7 RBI); Melvin Novoa (.375/.412/.500, 1 double, 1 HR, 6 RBI)

Pitching (May): Scott Engler (7 games, 1.69 ERA, .145 OBA, 16 IP, 8 H, 3 BB, 27 K); Yerry Rodriguez (3 starts, 2.25 ERA, .161 OBA, 16 IP, 9 H, 6 R, 4 ER, 8 BB, 27 K).



Like Hickory, the Grasshoppers are trying to stay in the SAL Northern Division race and they will start this series 3.5 games behind first-place Delmarva. Greensboro is as hot as any team in all of pro baseball, as it comes to L.P. Frans with a nine-game winning streak. That streak continued as the Pirate-affiliated team swept four straight at their old haunts at West Virginia. Greensboro is 17-5 on the road and winners of six straight away from home.

Manager: Miguel Perez (1st season)

Prospects – Greensboro (rankings by

RHP Steven Jennings No. 12

SS Ji-Hwan Bae No. 15

OF Lolo Sanchez No. 16

Possible Lineups: C: Grant Koch (.228/.291/.366); 1B: Mason Martin (.251/.349/.545); 2B: Rodolfo Castro (.287/.335/.615) or Ji-Hwan Bae (.323/.382/.419); 3B: Patrick Dorrian (.237/.337/.435) or Michael Gretler (.192/.250/.231); SS: Rodolfo Castro or Ji-Hwan Bae LF: Fabricio Macias  (.252/.311/.432); CF: Lolo Sanchez (.333/.413/.55); RF: Brett Kinneman (.152/.227/.290)

SAL Rankings:

Individual Batting:

Rodolfo Castro – 2nd slugging (.615), 2nd OPS (.951), tied for 2nd home runs (12), tied for 4th total bases, tied for 6th RBI (32)

Brett Kinneman – 8th strikeouts

Fabricio Macias – Tied for 1st runs scored, tied for 5th caught stealing,

Mason Martin – 1st RBI (45), tied for 2nd home runs (12), tied for 2nd strikeouts, 3rd total bases, 3rd slugging (.545), 5th OPS (.894), tied for 9th runs scored, tied for 9th walks,

Lolo Sanchez – 1st triples (5), 1st caught stealing (9), tied for 1st runs scored, tied for 1st stolen bases, 3rd batting avg. (.333), 3rd OBP (.413), 3rd OPS (.928), tied for 3rd hits, 6th slugging (.515), tied for 7th total bases,

Individual pitching:

Osvaldo Bido – 2nd wins (6), 5th innings pitched, 5th WHIP (0.97), 7th ERA (2.45)

Brad Case – 1st wins (7), 1st WHIP (0.79), 2nd innings pitched, 4th ERA (2.10)

Steven Jennings – 2nd runs allowed, 4th runs allowed, 6th hits allowed

Alex Manasa – Tied for 3rd wins (5), 4th innings pitched,

Team batting:

Slash line (BA. OBP/ SLG/ OPS): .242 (7th) / .330 (4th)/ .416 (1st)/ .746 (1st).

Other key rankings: 1st runs scored, 1st home runs, 1st total bases, 2nd caught stealing, 3rd stolen bases.

Team pitching: fewest hit batters, tied for fewest walks allowed, tied for 1st shutouts (6), 2nd ERA (3.15), 2nd WHIP (1.11), 2nd most home runs allowed, 2nd fewest hits allowed, 2nd fewest runs allowed, 2nd fewest earned runs allowed,


Hitting (Last 10 games): Fabricio Macias (.382/.462/.647, 3 2B, 2 HR, 9 RBI); Mason Martin (.317/.364/.732, 3 2B, 1 3B, 4 HR, 16 RBI, 2 BB, 14 K); Lolo Sanchez (.382/.488/.500, 2B, HR, 6 RBI, 4 SB)

Pitching (May): Yerry De Los Santos (6 games, 2 holds, 2 saves, 6.2 IP, 1 H, 3 BB, 10 K, 0.60 WHIP, .053 OBA); Brad Case (4 starts, 4-0, 27 IP, 22 H, 7 R, 6 ER, 2.00 ERA, 0 BB, 24 K, 0.81 WHIP, .218 OBA)