It’s been since Father’s Day since I’ve been able to make it out to the ballpark for a game. I had a free evening, and with last night’s game being rained out, today was a double-header for the Greensboro Grasshoppers against the Hagerstown Suns. I was pretty excited about being able to see a good amount of baseball and catch up with a handful of my ballpark friends. I rushed to the ballpark as soon as I could after work, and still only managed to get there a few innings into the first matchup. I had a great time hanging out with some of my friends. The baseball was just so-so. The Hoppers ended up losing both games in the double-header. The first game ended in a score of 2-6 (box | recap), and the second game ended in a score of 7-2 (box | recap).
On the field, one of the highlights for me was finally getting a chance to see the current most-talked-about Hopper: Colin Moran. Moran recently signed with the Marlins for $3.5 million and is currently playing third base for the Hoppers. He had a decent night. His defense was textbook. Offensively, he came away with a few sacrifice flies, a few RBIs, and a beautiful double. I think it’s going to be fun to follow his career, and I expect he’ll progress through the system at a decent pace. After the game, Moran took the time to sign autographs for everyone who was asking for one. That’s pretty classy in my book, especially after having endured losses in both games of the double-header.
Even though he was charged with the loss, I also enjoyed watching Austin Brice pitch the second game. For the first several innings, his pitching was beautiful. Fastballs for strikes, change ups making the batters looking foolish. But as the night wore on, he started losing control. He was finally pulled with one out in the fifth inning, after loading the bases. He’s definitely got potential, but he’s also got a bit of work to do.
I’m not sure when I’ll make it back out to a game, but it sure was nice to make it out tonight. I didn’t score the first game since I came in partway through, but here’s how I had the second one:
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Tonight was an amazing night at the ballpark. Let me first start by saying that I was unable to be at the ballpark last night due to a prior obligation for the Jamestown Newspaper. I also photograph and cover High School games and other events around the area. This one in particular was a Varsity Baseball game hosted by Ragsdale High School against the cowboys of Southwest. The VS-CANCER FOUNDATION is a foundation that uses the platform of sports to raise awareness and money for cancer research. Between the two high schools, they raised over 10,000 dollars! Amazing what can happen when a bunch of high school kids rally around a cause. I was thoroughly impressed with not only the heart and passion of the team as a team, but at the end of the game, every player shaved their heads in honor of the awareness raised that night. Last night, life was just a little bigger than baseball.
Once you walk into the ballpark, there are several things different this year. First of all, Taylor Made Kettle Corn is no longer there. Which to those that know Greg and I personally, this is a big blow. We were both disappointed opening night that Pat wasn’t out there with his kettle corn. Chick-Fil-A is also no longer there. I will miss the Chick-Fil-A double plays, as that was a big part of my diet last season. At first, I was a little disappointed to see that there is now a Pita Delite in the ballpark. How is Pita Delite going to work amongst the Hot Dogs, Nachos, and BBQ? Then I saw the steak and cheese’s… I’m now very happy there is a Pita Delite there now! To us season ticket holders, it gets mundane eating hot dogs every night. And Papa John’s now sponsors the Greensborosports.com K zone. Every game they issue a promo code for discounts for Papa John’s pizza based on the number of strikeouts. Shanna and I had dinner the other night 50% off!
Onto tonight’s game…. The Hoppers shut out the last place Lakewood Blueclaws 8-0. Tony Caldwell hit the grasshoppers first home run out of New Bridge Bank Park this season! The Hoppers runs came in spurts and Austin Brice was slinging fire tonight. Austin Brice threw 5 innings, allowed 2 hits, and slung 4 strikeouts. Tonights pitching staff only saw 4 hits total from the Blueclaws!
Spotlight player of the night definately goes to Tony Caldwell. Tony had four at bats, hitting in three of them. He was only a triple away from completely a cycle tonight; having a single, double, and a home run.
With this win tonight, the Hoppers move to 7-3 on the season. They are currently undefeated at home with a record of 3-0. The Hoppers intend on keeping the first place seat warm, but the Shorebirds are knocking on that door.
With an on-feild temperature of 75 degrees, it was definately A GREAT NIGHT TO BE A HOPPER!
(Photo Credit: Jordan Stowe)
Delmarva Shorebirds were in town today for the last day game of the season. It was also Money off monday which meant one dollar beer, sodas, and hot dogs. We talk about all the time about the Grasshoppers being “the HEART ATTACK HOPPERS”. Well today’s rally proved that. They were down but definitely not out. Greensboro would strike first in the third inning on Wilfredo’s second homer of the season. Austin Barnes would later cross the plate for the Hoppers in that inning. And just when everyone started getting comfortable, Kevin Cravey would allow four runs to come in. Which made the score 4-2 in the bottom of the 5th inning with the shorebirds on top. After a pitching change for the Hoppers, the Shorebirds would stay scoreless the rest of the game.
IT’S RALLY TIME!!! Eriq and Josh sporting their Rally Caps
And just like many times before this season, It was RALLY TIME! We love the Rally dance at the ballpark. And today was nothing short of that. In the Seventh inning Aaron Senne would rob Mike Planeta of a home run. In the bottom of the seventh, Brent Keys would single sending Matt Smith home to make the score 4-3. The very next batter, Ryan Goetz, would send a sacrifice fly out sending Ryan McIntyre across the plate tying the game 4-4. And on to extras we go… Greensboro is at bat in the bottom of the 11th, Ryan McIntyre flies out to left fielder Mike Planeta. ONE OUT. Wilfredo Gimenez singles on a ground ball to left fielder Mike Planeta. Brent Keys would single on a line drive to center fielder Roderick Bernadina. Wilfredo Gimenez would advance to 2nd. Ryan Goetz singles on a ground ball to right fielder Brenden Webb. Wilfredo Gimenez to 3rd. Brent Keys to 2nd. BASES LOADED. ONE OUT. Austin Barnes strikes out swinging. TWO OUTS, BASES STILL LOADED. Aaron Senne “SENNE IN THE CITY” singles on a ground ball to center fielder Roderick Bernadina. Wilfredo Gimenez scores. HOPPERS WIN! HOPPERS WIN! HOPPERS WIN! The final score was 5-4 in 11 innings.
The Hoppers Shot down the Birds tonight to advance to 21-24 in the second half and 4 games behind the first place West Virginia Power. The Hoppers can be seen next in ROME, GA against the Rome Braves. First Pitch is at 7pm Wednesday night. Be sure to tune in to Greensborosports.com for all game audio and video of all home games. Greensborosports.com is the place to go for all your grasshopper and greensboro sports needs.
The theme tonight was Halloween night. Being that it was Friday the 13th and the stadium is located right off Elm Street it had all the makings for a cheesy horror flick. And in some ways it was rather cheesy. You could catch pirates, clowns, pimps, and even waldo (If you could find him…) walking around and taking in the game. The names on the scoreboard were even put to a cool halloween background .
Looks like Spaz found Waldo!
Austin Brice was the starting pitcher on the mound tonight. He would throw 5 scoreless innings, allowing 2 hits and 5 strikeouts. He would be relieved by Kevin Cravey who pitched one inning and allowed 1 hit. Daniel Oliver would then come in to pitch 2 innings, allowing 3 hits and 2 strikeouts. Next up would walk Greg Nappo who would throw 1 inning and three straight strikeouts for a combined total of 10 strikeouts. That’s a lot of K’s on the board for Don Moore and his crew at the “JETS PIZZA K ZONE”.
The game was tied at zero until the bottom of the fourth inning when an inning full of errors happened. The Hoppers would come in to score 6 runs that inning. Batters to cross the plate were Aaron Senne, Ryan Reiger, James Wooster, Tony Caldwell, Austin Nola, and Terrence Dayleg.
With all the costumes and scary figures around tonight I guess Friday the 13th was just too scary for Hagerstown. Hagerstown would never lead in this one. Hoppers take the win easily 7-2. With tonights win the Hoppers move to 8-14 in the second half and only 6 games back! The Hoppers are back in action tomorrow night facing the Kannapolis Intimidators. And as always… IT’S A GREAT TIME TO BE A HOPPER!!
(Note: All players names are linked to their MILB profile so you can keep up with all your favorite Hoppers!)
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