Hoppers seize victory thanks to late single, drop Blueclaws 6-4

I love that baseball is back in Greensboro. Tonight was the home opener for the Greensboro Grasshoppers, against the Lakewood Blueclaws, and the Hoppers ended up on top with a 6-4 win. I’m thrilled that I was able to make it out to the park tonight. I’ve got a new scoring app for my Kindle Fire, and it performed pretty awesomely during the game. It even wrote a nice summary after the game was done:

After five lead changes in Thursday’s game at Newbridge Bank Park – Greensboro, NC, Greensboro Grasshoppers finally pulled out a 6-4 win over Lakewood Blueclaws.

The Hoppers finally managed to grab the lead after a strong eighth inning when they scored on an RBI single by Matt Juengel off Jeb Stefan, scoring Jesus Solorzano.

Viosergy Rosa was hot from the plate for the Hoppers. Rosa went 3-4, drove in one and scored one run. He tripled in the third inning and singled in the fifth and eighth innings.

In the top of the first, the Blueclaws grabbed the early lead, 3-0. The Blueclaws caught fire after William Carmona singled. Then Art Charles homered, bringing home Carmona. The Blueclaws then tacked on more runs when Mitch Walding scored on an RBI single by Carlos Tocci.

The eighth spelled defeat for the Blueclaws, however, as the Hoppers grabbed the lead for good. More runners rounded the bases on sacrifice bunt by Cameron Flynn (that failed to collect an out, and due to a fielding error allowed Flynn to advance to second) and a sacrifice fly by Yeison Hernandez.

“Powered by Narrative Science and GameChanger Media. Copyright 2013. All rights reserved.” Any reuse or republication of this story must include the preceding attribution.

Pretty cool summary, huh? I tweaked the output of the story a bit to make it flow a little better, but the initial recap that the app provided based on my scoring the game was a really good starting point. I think I’ll continue to use this app when I’m at the ballpark. While you’re thinking about the game summary, check out the official box score and game recap from milb.com.

Sharif Othman is setting up to bunt. Photo Credit: Jordan Stowe

Sharif Othman is setting up to bunt.
Photo Credit: Jordan Stowe

There were a couple of beautiful plays tonight. The first belongs to the Blueclaws, and it was homer in the first inning by Art Charles. The sound of the ball leaving the bat was solid, and I knew it was going far. It easily cleared the net and bounced into Eugene Street and set the Blueclaws up for a 3-0 lead right off the bat. I was afraid that would set the tone for a rough night for Greensboro, but our boys caught up over the course of three innings and the score stayed tied until the eighth. Lakewood pulled ahead with another homer, this one by Brian Pointer. The second beautiful play came in the bottom of the eighth, when Cameron Flynn hit a sacrifice bunt that ended up tying the game — and didn’t collect an out due to a fielding error by second baseman Tyler Greene. Flynn even ended up advancing to second on the error. This set the Hoppers up to pull ahead with two more runs in the inning, and the Blueclaws went down quickly 1-2-3 in the bottom of the ninth to end the game.

I have to give a huge shout-out to Jim Scott, the Hoppers announcer. Before the games, Jim does a great job of entertaining and informing the fans. He doesn’t just read off the line-up cards, but he talks about what we might expect in the game and interacts with the fans directly as they trickle down to their seats. Tonight, he recognized Jordan and me as we were coming in and welcomed us by name. Then he proceeded to tell everyone in the ballpark to check out the Hoppers Fan blog and Facebook Page. Wow! It’s great to get that kind of publicity. We’re truly grateful, Jim.

As always, the Hoppers put on a great family show. Lots of fun between-inning entertainment, like sumo wrestling:

Sumo Wrestling between innings is always a fan favorite. Photo credit: Jordan Stowe

Sumo Wrestling between innings is always a fan favorite.
Photo credit: Jordan Stowe

And after the game, the first fireworks presentation of the year. Before the fireworks started, however, I got my picture taken with the guy who threw out the ceremonial first pitch.

Olympic gold medalist and philanthropist Joey Cheek was kind enough to pose for a picture with me after the Hoppers game tonight. He threw out the ceremonial first pitch. Photo credit: Chris Cheek

Olympic gold medalist and philanthropist Joey Cheek was kind enough to pose for a picture with me after the Hoppers game tonight. He threw out the ceremonial first pitch.
Photo credit: Chris Cheek

Yeah, not just some random guy, but Joey Cheek. He’s a very cool guy, having used his celebrity status to bring attention to humanitarian organizations like Team Darfur and Right to Play. His mother is a fixture at the ballpark, and I always enjoy chatting with her when I’m at a game. It was great to meet Joey, and he was very gracious and humble.

All in all, a great time at the ballpark — especially with a Hoppers win. It was so good to see so many of my friends at the ballpark again. Several of you I know are prolific photographers, and I’m hoping you’ll send some of your pictures to use here at Hoppers Fan for inclusion on the blog.

Remember, you can click on any of the pictures in the post to embiggen them. Check out the photo album on Facebook for all the pictures. (BIG thanks to Jordan for taking all the pictures tonight!) Join the conversation by leaving a comment — what are you thinking?

-greg

See ya at the ballpark!
Email: hoppersfan@gmail.com
Twitter: @HoppersFan
Facebook: www.facebook.com/HoppersFan

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