For those that made the trip to Hickory to see the season opener, you were not disappointed. The one field temperature was a beautiful 64 degrees and clear skies. It was a great night to be at the ballpark. After last nights game was snowed out… It does seem odd that the temperature change was so drastic. The Grasshoppers took this opportunity to stew some Crawdads while they were there. The Hickory Crawdads, that is. Hickory’s stadium is just a hop, skip, and a jump down Interstate 40. So I guess you could say they are our in-state rivals. Further down I-40 is the Asheville Tourist, the defending SAL league Champions.
Tony Caldwell, Catcher
Tonights opener had all the makings of a blockbuster from the second you walked in the gate. The grounds crew, the ticketing office, and all front office staff were dressed in tuxes. When approached as to why they were “all dressed up”, they simply replied, “I was always taught to never turn down a chance to dress up…” He went on to say that “Some occasions are just worth dressing up for.” I guess, to the Crawdads, Opening Day was such the occasion. The Hoppers had something else on their mind. The last time the Grasshoppers suited up and laced their cleats, was for the Championship Game in Greensboro. They lost that game to the Asheville Tourists. The Hoppers are back… with a heck of a statement to start the season.
Coaches Walking to the Grasshoppers Dugout
The Crawdads would start the season opener quick with a 1-0 start. Quickly sitting down seven (7) Grasshoppers called on strikeouts. It would actually be rather mundane or boring till the fifth inning. In the fifth inning, Ross Wilson would score off of a single line drive by Yieson Hernandez, tying the score. In the very next inning (6th), Ross Wilson would single sending Anthony Gomez home to put the Hoppers up by one. Those two scores would make it 2-1 Grasshoppers lead. Hickory had an answer of their own, Ryan Rua would score off of throwing error by third baseman Yordy Cabrera. With the score now tied in the 6th, it leaves you wondering who has the momentum to carry the win? Who wants it more? Who has the heart to finish it out? In the top of the eighth the Hoppers would answer those questions. With two outs, Cody Keefer would single on a ground ball to center fielder Lewis Brinson. Yordy Cabrera and Jesus Solorzano would cross the plate for what would end up as your final score of 4-2. HOPPERS WIN HOPPERS WIN HOPPERS WIN! With this win, the Hoppers record on Opening night is an impressive 6-2 leading all the way back to their first season, 2005.
I’m very excited to check out these guys as the weeks go by. Don’t forget to click on your favorite players to be connected to their profile page to keep up with all the latest stats, news, and more. Also, don’t forget to check out the Full Recap and Box Score. Starting out the season with a win means only one thing…. IT’S A GREAT TIME TO BE A HOPPER!!!
(Photo Credit: Roy Royster)