The Hickory Crawdads celebrated Independence Day with an explosion of offense.
In front of a sellout crowd of 5,225 fans at L.P. Frans Stadium, the Crawdads had 11 hits and scored nine runs on their way to a 9-2 Fourth of July win over the Delmarva Shorebirds on Monday.
The Shorebirds (5-7, 40-42) struck first in the game in the top half off the second inning. With runners on second and third, Michael Planeta singled to score Joe Oliveira. Hickory’s Jurickson Profar mishandled a throw to first base on the play.
Crawdads starter Nick Tepesch (4-3, 3.28) avoided further damage in the inning with help from Profar, who was able to get Michael Rooney out at on a double steal attempt.
Hickory (7-5, 47-33) answered back in the bottom of the second. After a leadoff walk, Christian Villanueva doubled to score Andrew Clark from first base, making it a 1-1 game after two innings.
The Crawdads weren’t done just yet with their scoring surge. They added three more runs in the bottom half of the third inning, including RBIs from Profar and Joshua Richmond, to take a 4-1 lead.
Profar also scored in the inning on a throwing error from Shorebirds’ starting pitcher Jarret Martin, who pitched only three innings after lasting five innings in a June 1 start against the Crawdads.
Profar’s at-bat against Martin included 11 pitches, which was part of a 44-pitch third inning.
Martin (4-4, 4.55) surrendered three hits, four runs (two earned) and waked three batters. Martin allowed two hits and two earned runs in the June 1 start.
After retiring batters in order in the top of the third, Tepesch gave up a solo home run off the bat of Adam Gaylord on the second at-bat of the fourth, cutting the lead to 4-2.
Coming in for relief for Martin, Delmarva’s Cameron Roth gave up runs in back-to-back-to-back innings of his appearance. Odubel Herrera erased the single run scored by Delmarva in the half-inning prior on a single, which scored catcher Kellin Deglan.
Jake Skole added yet another run in the fifth inning on a single that plated Richmond, who doubled earlier in the inning. Roth had previously surrendered just three earned runs in his last five appearances on the mound.
Herrera added a second RBI in the game, plating Deglan for the second time. Tomas Telis drove in another run in the inning on a ground out, which scored Profar.
Tepesch exited the mound after six innings, allowing eight hits, two runs (both earned), one walk and struck out two.
Profar matched Herrera’s mark for RBIs with two in the bottom of the eighth inning by adding a late insurance run on a single, scoring Deglan. Profar finished the game 1-for-2 with two runs, two walks and two RBIs.
Deglan scored three of Hickory’s nine runs in the game, and went 1-for-2 with a double and a walk. Herrera was 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs.
Hickory relief pitcher Ben Henry closed out a strong start by Tepesch, allowing no hits, no runs, one walk and struck out two batters on route to his first save of the season.
The Crawdads and Shorebirds play game two of the series at L.P. Frans tomorrow at 7 p.m.