Hickory Crawdads Stadium Opening Day
The image above is what is becoming a familiar sight on Opening Day for the Greensboro Grasshoppers. Since their inaugural season, 2005, the Hoppers have sent their starting pitcher to the mound 4 times to open the season. In 8 seasons, they are 4-4 of starting the season on Opening Day. That being said it is not uncommon around these parts to have a delay or postponement opening day. What is uncommon, in fact unprecedented, is being cancelled due to snow and sleet.
Scott Lyman, RHP
Today’s game in Hickory was set to be a great matchup. Scott Lyman, returning for his second year in Greensboro, was set to take the mound. This right hander will start out the season to improve on his 3 game win record and 6 losses. He threw 62 strikeouts out of 74 innings pitched. I’m very interested to see what kind of heat he can throw this year.
I’ll be armed with my camera and scorecards this season, to bring you all the latest action, scores, and fan highlights from each game. Greg, I believe, will be joining me this year a bit more, and WOOT WOO IT’S A GREAT TIME TO BE A HOPPER!!!
And for those of you wondering where your favorite Hoppers are… Here’s the list as of today.
Jose Fernandez– MIAMI MARLINS, Brent Keys— GSO Grasshoppers, Tony Caldwell— GSO Grasshoppers, Collin Cargill– Jupiter Hammerheads, Jose Urena– Jupiter Hammerheads, Wilfredo Gimenez– Jupiter Hammerheads, Noah Perio– Jupiter Hammerheads, Ryan Fisher– Jupiter Hammerheads, Austin Barnes–Jupiter Hammerheads, Josh Adams– Jupiter Hammerheads, Austin Nola– Jupiter Hammerheads, Matt Smith– Jupiter Hammerheads, Ryan Reiger– Jupiter Hammerheads, Ryan Goetz– Jupiter Hammerheads, Isaac Galloway– Jupiter Hammerheads, Aaron Senne “In the City”– Jupiter Hammerheads, Adam Conley– Jacksonville Suns, Marcell Ozuna– Jacksonville Suns, Danny Black– Jacksonville Suns, Rand Smith– Batavia Muckdogs
Don’t forget to click on your favorite player to link up to see the latest news, stats, and more! If your favorite player is not listed please leave a comment and I’ll be sure to locate that player for you. Thanks!
Howdy, Hoppers fans! Greg here. Yes, I’ve been away from the blog for most of the season, but I’m back tonight while Jordan was covering high school football. Once again, I’d like to extend a huge than-you to Jordan for keeping the blog going this season while I’ve been busy with a new job, in a new town, and a new baby. I only made it out to 2 or 3 games this year, but I sure enjoyed reading about the season from the blogs and pictures that Jordan posted throughout the season. THANK YOU, Jordan!
This was the scene at the end of tonight’s game:
Why are the players dousing themselves in champagne? Because the Greensboro Grasshoppers beat the Hagerstown Suns by a score of 7-5, and in so doing, they became the 2012 SAL NORTHERN DIVISION CHAMPIONS! Now they will move on to defend last year’s SAL Championship and look to bring home the prize two years in a row. I especially like how, in this photo, team owner Donald Moore is simply standing just outside of the celebration and watching.
The game started out in what I’d describe as a bit of a pitcher’s duel. Things remained scoreless until the bottom of the third, when the Hoppers just started tearing everything up. Ryan Rieger walked and advanced to 2nd on a sacrifice bunt from Austin Nola. Then Wilfredo Giminez hit a monster homer to Natty’s hill, bringing in 2 runs. Next up, Ryan Goetz, who doubles. He’s followed by Austin Barnes, who homers, brining in two more runs. No one else would score that inning, but it energized the crowd, and put Greensboro in a solid position. Pitcher Jake Esch was throwing a no hitter, pretty much 3 up, 3 down. I wad exited, feeling good.
Check out Austin Barnes coming to the plate after hitting his home run:
Then we made it to the fifth inning.
Check out the official recap for the details, but the short version is that Hagerstown scored 4 runs of their own while the Greensboro defense fell apart. Esch was replaced by Brad Mincey to get the final out of the inning and stop the bleeding. I was starting to get worried about the Hoppers’ ability to secure the win. But they responded with 2 runs of their own in the bottom of the fifth: Ryan Goetz and Brent Keys each made it across the plate. The Hoppers never lost the lead again — 2 scoreless innings, then each team scored a run in the eighth (Ryan Goetz made it home on a beautiful sacrifice fly from Austin Barnes). Hagerstown was unable to score in the ninth, and the game was over.
As always, the Hoppers put on great between-inning entertainment. Tonight’s mascot race featured young Hoppers Fan photo corespondent Eli racing Guilford around the bases. Here’s Eli breaking the finish tape (you might want to click the picture to see the bigger version…):
It was really exciting to be at the park for the Hoppers to sweep the Suns. I don’t know if I’ll be able to make it out to any of the league playoff games, but I’m going to try!
For more insight in tonight’s game, check out Bill on Baseball: “I’ll take our chances with anybody.” Bill talked with a lot of people after the game and got a lot of great quotes.
Good luck, Hoppers! Let’s see if you can bring home another trophy this year!
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?
When I left the house tonight, I honestly thought the game would be rained out, maybe even a delay or two. However, not even a drop of rain fell during the three hour affair in Greensboro. The weather remained dreary and humid with an on field temperature of 86 degrees.
You could say tonights game was a GOOD NEWS/BAD NEWS deal.
Good News: Rand Smith had three hits on five at bats. Two which occurred in both the eighth and ninth inning while trying to start a rally.
Bad News: With tonights loss, the Hoppers dropped to 6-13 and are currently 8 games behind the first place Hickory Crawdads
Bill Hass had the privilege of speaking to Manager Dave Berg tonight and captured Berg’s opinion in the latest Bill On Baseball entry:
“It will be a big difference,” manager David Berg said of getting players back. “The first half of the season we were healthy. I don’t know if we had a position player on the DL. The second half has not been kind to us in that regard. Now we’re adding the guys who got us to where we were.”
And with those additions back to the roster and the acquisition of Austin Nola I definitely think we’ll be back to where we were in no time at all! So with all that said, IT’S A GREAT TIME TO BE A HOPPER!
Click for box score and full recap of tonights game. As well as, all names and teams have been linked to their milb profiles so you can keep up with all your favorite players! You can also check out Bill Hass’ Official Blog by clicking here
Tonight was Irish night at the ballpark. So you guessed it, it was green everywhere! It was also thirsty thursday. Which means only one thing as far as I’m concerned… A TON of people! The game was very good, I’ll get to the stats and play by plays in a second. Just wanted to give you guys some awesome news if you haven’t heard yet. It was announced two days ago that the All Star Home Run Derby, part of All Star week, will take place on board the USS Yorktown Aircraft Carrier based in the Charleston Harbor in Charleston, SC. How cool is that? The article I read said they will have inflatable barriers in the water, that if they hit the ball past it’s a home run. US Coast Guard will be in the water on Jet Skis retrieving the ball. So the next question… Am I going? You darn skippy! Thats way too cool to miss.
Austin Barnes at bat
Okay, back to last nights game. It started out great two runs in the first inning by the Hoppers, scored by Ryan Goetz and Austin Barnes. Josh Hodges was on the mound tonight for the Hoppers. His fastballs were averaging about 94 mph. They had a little smoke trail behind them as well. Greensboro wouldn’t score again till the 4th inning when Aaron Senne crosses the plate. In the 7th Brent Keys would score off a single fly ball by Matt Smith. Lakewood would stay scoreless until the 6th, where they posted their only run for the night. The Hoppers take the victory 4-1 over the Lakewood Blueclaws. They advance to 29-10 on the season, and 15 straight at home! It’s still way too early to say but, we are in great shape for the 1st half of the season! The Hoppers can lose the next six and still be in first place, and lose 8 and still be in 2nd. It’s a great place to be! I am also uploading all my pictures from tonight, all 29 of them to the Hoppers Fan page on Facebook and my personal FB page, so be sure to check them out! Hope to see you at the ballpark, and as always I echo the sentiment heard round the ballpark, IT’S A GREAT TIME TO BE A HOPPER!
Babe, the ball and bat gal (above)
Spaz sporting his Irish attire (below)
Wow… Where to start? Todays day game was truly incredible. Our boys keep finding the will to win! I was at home today, as some of you know, today was my wife’s birthday. We spent most the day celebrating and since she is not a fan of baseball, the game was not on our agenda today. However, as I know you know, I had my phone close by and ears open because, I on the other hand, can’t be too far from my hoppers.
When I first checked it out it was 3-0 Kannapolis leading in the top of the fourth. I was very shaken by this because the Hoppers are on a 14 home game winning streak. But they don’t get the name Heart Attack Hoppers for nothing. I was quickly put to ease when Brent Keys crossed the plate in the bottom of the 4th. However it was still 3-1 at this point, Greensboro trailing. In the fifth inning Kannopolis would score again, making it 4-1. But, all is well, because in the 6th inning Greensboro would score 5 runs. I was updating on my phone, and it seemed like that inning lasted forever! Definitely missed being at the ballpark today. But, back to baseball. Matt Smith sent another one toward the sun and over the fence on a three run homer. Those five hoppers players to cross the plate that inning were Austin Barnes, Brent Keys, Ryan Reiger, Josh Adams, Matt Smith. Kannapolis scored a couple more runs the next two innings and the Hoppers had one a piece for the next inning. Kannapolis scored twice in the top of the 9th putting them up, 9-8. I had chiseled my nails down to the bone I was so nervous. But the hoppers never disappoint. In the Bottom of the 9th, Ryan Goetz scores off a line drive Single, tying it up. EXTRA INNINGS! Both teams remain scoreless in the 10th. The intimidators remained scoreless in the 11th. The Grasshoppers saw their chance to end it then, and end it they did! Ryan Reiger shot one over the fence for a two run homer to win the game! HOPPERS WIN AGAIN!!! With that win the Hoppers advance to 28-10 on the season and 14 games straight won at home. Hoppers remain 6 games ahead of 2nd place.
It is fans like you, and like myself, that make Greensboro Baseball what it’s all about. Rain or shine, in the stands or not, I bleed Green and Orange. And it is with that statement that I proudly exclaim… ITS A GREAT TIME TO BE A HOPPER!
By the way, I will be at the game tomorrow night with camera. So look out for some great pictures!
Thanks for the great write-up, Jordan. I was able to catch most of the game on the radio, and it was indeed a case of the Heart Attack Hoppers showing up again. For the official report, check out the box score and game recap. And be sure to also keep an eye on the Bill on Baseball blog for more great Hoppers commentary, including some behind-the-scenes insight from the manager and players on this most recent ugly win.
This is becoming a common scene around Greensboro, or so it seems. But rain or no rain, these bats are heavy! Pregame it rained all night Sunday night and most the morning. It cleared up long enough to get in 8 innings. And in the 8th inning it just came on down. And with lightening present in the area, they went ahead and called it without a delay.
So what is a game like when the seats are mostly empty? Interesting. No YMCA, a lot of the between inning games were done by hoppers staff, as opposed to kids. One must not forget though, it still was Money off Mondays, 1 dollar hot dogs and 1 dollar drinks. So all was not a wash. Jack McKeon was around before the game so we got to talk to him and get an autograph to add to my collection.
Ryan Goetz in the outfield
Austin Brice started out the night on the mound. He threw 5 innings and had 4 strikeouts. Jose Urena pitched 2 innings and had 1 strikeout and allowed no hits! Greensboro hopped off to an early lead, by the fourth inning it was 8-0. The Grasshoppers crossing home were: Austin Barnes, Brent Keys, Matt Smith, Aaron Senne, and Ryan Goetz. Hoppers again get the victory at home over Kannapolis Intimidators by a score of 8-3. With this win they are now 26-10 on the season!
Once again, it was an exciting game. Rain or shine, these boys are on fire! They still have not lost at home since April 11, 2012, 6 days after opening day! They are now 6 games ahead of second place. Which means, they can lose the next 5 in a row and still be in first place!! Thats an awesome place to be. As always I echo the sentiment heard round the ballpark, IT’S A GREAT TIME TO BE A HOPPER!
Tonight was a fun night at the ballpark. Shanna, my wife, joined me tonight. For those of you that don’t know me personally, I get two season tickets every year and I am usually the only one using the tickets. Shanna mainly works at night and quite frankly doesn’t care for baseball. We decided to make tonight a date night of sorts. Needless to say, we met up with some friends up there and sat in the SUNBRELLA zone, out in the outfield for most of the game. It provides a different view on the game. I’m used to being up close in personal where all the action is. My seats are front row, on the first base line, beside the away dugout. So sitting in outfield provides a much better take on the game.
One thing I love as a photographer, is taking pictures of the stadium during different times of the day. The sunsets over the stadium are just awesome! Tonights was no different.
As I stated in the title and as I’ve stated many times this season already, the Hoppers are on fire! And I don’t see them cooling off anytime soon! With Adam Conley and Jose Fernandez pitching like they are, and Adams, Barnes, Wooster, and Keys hitting the way they are we are definitely on the right track to secure the first half. That sure would be nice. Jose Fernandez started off the night by throwing 6 strikeouts in the first two innings and had a total strikeout count of 8. Things were definitely heating up on the mound tonight. James Wooster had an incredible diving catch late in the 7th inning and stepped right up and slammed a home run off the score board. Hoppers win again by a score of 3-2 against the West Virginia Power! The win tonight improves the Hoppers to 20-8 and of those 28 games the crowd in Greensboro has only seen two of those losses! Talk about home town support! Their last loss at home came back on April 11 against the Lakewood Blueclaws! And that is why, my friends, I continue to echo the sentiment heard around the ballpark, IT’S A GREAT TIME TO BE A HOPPER!
Remember, you can click on the picture in the post to embiggen it. Join the conversation by leaving a comment — what are you thinking?