The Hickory Crawdads' bats exploded early and often, helping lift them to a 7-1 victory against the Lakewood Blueclaws on Thursday in New Jersey.
Hickory (36-30) scored five runs in the third inning to pull ahead, and added one run each in the fourth and ninth innings to pull away for the victory.
A pair of doubles in the fifth by Hanser Alberto and Jeremy Williams helped plate four runs in the game, while the Kevin Torres plated the fifth run on an RBI single.
Lakewood (23-43) scored its lone run in the bottom of the eighth inning on a Brian Pointer RBI double.
Hickory's Jerad Eickhoff was the winning pitcher, while Ramon Oviedo suffered the loss for Lakewood.
The Crawdads and Blueclaws play the second game of the four-game tilt Friday at 7:05 p.m. in New Jersey.