It’s Money Off Monday, and a beautiful night at the ballpark. Maybe a little cool, but I thought it was comfortable. And with hot dogs and soda just a dollar, I couldn’t ask for a nicer night for baseball.
Well, I guess there’s one thing I could have asked for: a Hoppers win. Here’s how my scoring app put it:
Jesus Solorzano had a hot bat for the Hoppers. Solorzano went 3-4, drove in one and scored two runs. He singled in the second and fourth innings and homered in the fifth inning.
The Sand Gnats stayed on top until the final out after taking the lead in the second, scoring three runs on two singles.
Three runs in the bottom of the fourth helped the Hoppers close its deficit to 6-3. An RBI double by Matt Juengel, a groundout by Tony Caldwell, and an RBI single by Yeison Hernandez fueled Hoppers’ comeback. Finally, Logan Taylor induced an inning-ending from Anthony Gomez.
One run in the bottom of the fifth helped the Hoppers close its deficit to 8-4. A solo home run by Solorzano triggered the Hoppers’ comeback. Savannah Sand Gnats stopped the rally after Matthew Koch got Caldwell to ground out.
After pushing across one run in the bottom of the seventh, the Hoppers faced just a 8-5 deficit. A solo home run by Yordy Cabrera set off a short Hoppers rally. Finally, Koch got Cameron Flynn to strike out to end the threat.
“Powered by Narrative Science and GameChanger Media. Copyright 2013. All rights reserved.” Any reuse or republication of this story must include the preceding attribution.
What went wrong? Pitching. The Hoppers pitching was just plain ugly tonight. Balls were all over the place, including hitting batters. When the Sand Gnats did connect with a ball, they were solid hits. They were up on the board with three runs in the 2nd. They extended their lead to six runs in the fourth. The rally the Hoppers started in the bottom of the fourth was pretty exciting, but that’s all they had. Check out the official box score and game recap for all the details. Bill on Baseball also has a recap of the game with some insights from the coach.
Here’s a picture of Chipper Smith, in his Hoppers debut, getting ready to pitch. Smith pitched 2 innings, allowed 5 hits, 2 runs (both earned), and managed 2 strike-outs. He ended his outing with an ERA of 9.0 and hit one batter tonight. Ouch!
Well, the night’s not all bad. The Kannapolis Intimidators also lost tonight, so we’re still tied for first in our division. Let’s hope the Hoppers can get their momentum back and start winning some more games.
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. Join the conversation by leaving a comment — what are you thinking?