The Hickory Crawdads attempted a late comeback with runs in the seventh and eighth, but came up just short against the Greenville Drive, dropping a 4-3 contest Tuesday.
The Crawdads (4-2) were facing a rehab rehabbing big leaguer in the first frame for the second time in as many days. Pitcher Rich Hill tossed the first inning for Greenville, and the Crawdads quickly jumped in front against him.
Shortstop Luis Sardinas and center fielder Chris Grayson led off the inning with back-to-back base hits, putting runners at the corners with no outs for the Crawdads. Hanser Alberto bounced a grounder to second for the RBI fielder's choice, scoring Sardinas, putting Hickory up, 1-0.
The Drive (4-2) came racing back in the bottom of the third against 'Dads right-handed pitcher Andrew Faulkner.
With one on and no outs, center fielder Cody Koback doubled in the game-tying tally and took third base on the play. One out later, third baseman Garin Cecchini and first baseman Boss Moanaroa drew consecutive walks, loading the bases.
Greenville's Henry Ramos belted a two-run double, bringing in Cecchini and Moanaroa, before Keury De La Cruz plated the final run on an RBI fielder's choice, making it 4-1.
Greenville pitcher Mickey Pena kept the lead intact through his five scoreless innings, but was matched by 5.1 scoreless frames by Hickory's Randol Rojas, keeping Hickory in the game.
The 'Dads then attempted a late comeback with runs in the seventh and eighth off of Greenville's Yeiper Castillo.
With two outs and no one on in the top of the seventh, designated hitter Jorge Alfaro kept the inning going with a double, and quickly came in on an RBI single by Jeremy Williams, cutting it to 4-2.
Hickory right fielder Jordan Akins brought Hickory closer in the top of the eighth, launching a solo home run over the left-center field wall to make it 4-3.
Facing Castillo again in the top of the ninth, the 'Dads got the potential game-tying run on base, but Castillo stranded the runner at first, closing the 4-3 win for the Drive.