The Charleston RiverDogs got off to a hot start and a 6-2 lead over the Hickory Crawdads after five innings of play. However, the Crawdads came alive late scoring the final six runs of the game en route to an 8-6 win over the RiverDogs on Thursday evening at L.P. Frans Stadium.
In the first four innings, Charleston's bats struck early and often. The RiverDogs scored three runs in the second, two in the fourth and one in the fifth. Offensively, Charleston was led by catcher Peter O'Brien and outfielder Danny Oh, who each had two hits a piece.
Pitching was the deciding factor Thursday night. Starter Vicente Campos went three innings and allowed two runs/one earned on three hits with four strikeouts. Campos was relieved by Evan Rutckyj (1-2) who got roughed up. In Rutckyj's four innings of work, he allowed six runs on seven hits, two walks, three homers and four wild pitches. Rutckyj was relieved by Dietrich Enns, who threw a scoreless eighth.
Hickory starter Eric Brooks got pushed and lasted just 3.1 innings. Brooks surrendered six runs, four of them earned on seven hits while walking one and striking out one. Brooks was bailed out by his bullpen and offense. After Brooks departed, his team scored six runs en route to their victory. Reliever John Kukuruda (1-0) picked up the win, tossing 3.2 shutout innings. Cody Kendall picked up his second save of the season by throwing two shutout, no-hit innings.
Offensively, the Crawdads were led by first baseman Joe Maloney who hit a pair of two-run homers in the fourth and sixth inning respectively. Joey Gallo, the ninth ranked prospect according to MLB.com, went 0-for-2 with two strikeouts and a pair of walks, but made a couple very nice plays defensively.
The RiverDogs and Crawdads will be back at it Friday evening for game two of this four game set. First pitch is scheduled for 7pm with Charleston sending LHP Daniel Camarena (0-0, 12.86 ERA) to the mound. Hickory counters with RHP Kelvin Vasquez (0-1, 4.15 ERA).