Tagged: greg nappo

Player Spotlight: Greg Nappo

As you guys know, from time to time, I like to do a spotlight on a player, coach, usher,  or maybe even a ticket counter person one day.  In the past I spotlighted Ryan McIntyre.  You can check out that blog here.  Just recently I got the opportunity to speak with Greg Nappo, our left handed pitcher drafted in the 18th round out of UCONN.  In his pro career, he just recently made the 2012 All Star Team that went down to Charleston.  He is also famed with tag teaming relief with Jose Fernandez and pitching a perfect game.  A perfect no hitter on 4/23/12.  He has won the SAL pitcher of the week this year as well.  I really think this is our next up and coming guy.  I really like him and his work ethic, values, and baseball IQ are among the best in the league.  As I stated I had some time to talk to him recently and ask some questions.  Here’s what he had to say.

 

 

HoppersFan:  What is your biggest accomplishment on the field?

Greg Nappo: My biggest accomplishment on the field would have to be pitching the elimination game against South Carolina in last years Super Regional it was an unbelievable rush and accomplishment for the University of Connecticut and Northeast baseball as a whole.

 
HoppersFan: What is your biggest accomplishment as a Grasshopper?

Greg Nappo: My biggest accomplishment as a hopper was winning the championship last year. We hope to eclipse that with one this year!

 
HoppersFan: If you were not an athlete what do you think you might be doing?

Greg Nappo: I would probably end up in some form of writing whether it be a journalist or columnist.


HoppersFan: What’s your favorite TV show?

Greg Nappo: Many, but if i had to pick one it would be “How I Met Your Mother”.  It is a clubhouse favorite for sure.

 
HoppersFan: What’s the funniest moment or blooper as a grasshopper?

Greg Nappo: Probably one of Ryan McIntyre’s mishaps… such as tripping in the middle of the baseline on his way to third for a triple… Tripping over the mound in the bullpen trying to catch a fly ball or his attempt at robbing a homerun and losing his glove over the fence in right…  (WHICH TO THOSE THAT DON’T KNOW…RYAN IS A TRIP!)

 

 
HoppersFan: What’s your favorite music artist?

Greg Nappo: So many to pick from but probably right now anything by Tiesto or Lil Wayne

 

 

HoppersFan: What’s your favorite movie?

Greg Nappo: Good Will Hunting i can watch that one anytime.

 

 

I would really like to thank Greg Nappo for taking the time to talk to me.  I look forward to seeing all the great things he accomplishes in the future.  And I seriously can’t wait to see him in the BIGS one day!  Thanks again Greg!

And about todays game, I have been under the weather a little lately and haven’t been able to make it out to the games.  Click Here for a full recap and box score of todays game.  Thanks for reading and as always, IT’S A GREAT TIME TO BE A HOPPER!

-jordan

(Photo courtesy of UCONNsports.com)

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Deck The Halls With Sounds Of Baseball…

As you might can tell from the title, tonight was Christmas in July at the ballpark.  The game was a little lacking tonight, but the between inning games, the sledding on Natty’s Hill, and the nine innings of great gifts given away every inning sure made the night a fun one!

Image

 They converted Natty’s Hill into a sled run for children of all ages.  Our PA Announcer, Jim Scott did he opening remarks while sledding down the hill tonight.  It was pretty entertaining to watch the baseball game and then all of a sudden the “snow blower” turn on and Natty’s Hill would be covered again.  In the middle of each inning they would draw a name for a gift.  And these weren’t your average gifts either.  Lowes donated a Gas Grill and Drill Set tonight.  Trek donated a bike.  A 30 dollar gift certificate to Red Mango.  And the list goes on.  So on top of all the usual stuff you also had this as well.  And then as you left the ballpark tonight they gave you chocolate.  So once again, when it comes to fan appreciation and entertainment, Greensboro baseball was definitely THE place to be.
 The Hoppers lost another close battle tonight as the West Virginia Power flipped their circuit at the score of 4-2.  Starting Pitcher on the “Winter Wonderland” night was Scott Lyman.  He would throw 6 innings, allow 4 hits and two Home Runs.  Those home runs were back to back, might I add.  He had 8 strikeouts however.  He made sure he did his part in keeping Don Moore and his crew up on the “JETS PIZZA K ZONE” busy.  Scott would be relieved by Greg Nappo who would pitch two innings allowing no hits and one strikeout.  Collin Cargill would be the closing pitcher for tonight.  He would allow one hit and no strikeouts.  With this loss the Hoppers drop to 14-19 in the second half and currently 5 games back behind first place. With all the festivities surrounding the Christmas in July tonight, I was armed with my trusty Kodak Z5010 to capture the essence of the night.  Below are a few pictures from tonight, be sure to click here for all the pictures from tonight as published on the Hoppers fan page on Facebook.  Enjoy the photos and as always IT’S A GREAT TIME TO BE A HOPPER!
-jordan
Rudolph pulling his sleigh
The kids anxiously waiting for the hill to be white again
Josh Adams sliding into Second
(Note: Click here for a full recap and box score, also check out Bill Hass’ Official blog.  Also remember you can click on the links to all the players and teams to keep track of all your favorites on the field.)

Friday The 13th Proves Too Scary For Hagerstown; Hoppers win 7-2

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 .

Jim Scott, pictured above, was definitely in rare form today.  He was dressed as Superfly or quite simply, a pimp.

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!!

-jordan

(Note: All players names are linked to their MILB profile so you can keep up with all your favorite Hoppers!)

Click here for Box Score and Full Recap of tonights game.

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?

Senne “In The City” Goes 4-4, Not Enough To Take Care Of Crawdads

Between the threat of thunderstorms, a hundred degree heat, and the holiday weekend the stands sat a little empty today.  If they had been there they would have witnessed Aaron Senne hit a perfect game at four hits and four at bats.  They would also have witnessed Wooster’s superman catch over the Mercedes sign in midfield for the 3rd out in the 9th.  Had that hit not been caught out of the sky the game would have been over in nine, with the Hickory Crawdads on top.

Aaron Senne had a phenomenal game today with four hits at four at bats.  A Ryan Goetz homer out to right field looked like it made a u-turn at the sun, before coming back down.  John Shultz had a good day as well, having 3 hits on 6 at bats and sliding in to score a run in the second.  Between Ryan Goetz homer in the first and Shultz score in the second, the Hoppers would not be able to mount anything for another 10 innings.  The Hoppers would go down 4-2 to the Hickory Crawdads.

Starting pitcher on the mound today was Jose Urena.  He would sling six innings, allow five hits and 3 strikeouts.  He would be relieved by Daniel Oliver who would pitch two innings, allow no hits and two strikeouts.  Greg Nappo would start out the  ninth inning and pitch three innings, allowing one hit and three strikeouts.  Losing pitcher on the day was Chris Shafer.  He allowed four hits, no strikeouts, and the two winning runs.

With the loss today the Hoppers drop to 51-30 overall and 5-6 in the second half.  The Hoppers are still only 3 games back courtesy of some other losses around the league this week.  The Hoppers will be back at home tomorrow night facing the first place Hickory Crawdads.  Hope to see you out there, and remember, WIN OR LOSE, IT’S A GREAT TIME TO BE A HOPPER!

-jordan

(Photo Courtesy of Don Moore)

First no hitter of the season belongs to Greensboro!

Yep, you read that right! First no hitter of the minor league season belongs to the Greensboro Grasshoppers. Jose Fernandez pitched 6 straight innings allowing NO HITS. He was relieved by Greg Nappo, who allowed NO HITS. Finally to close out the game was Kevin Cravey, allowing NO HITS! Hoppers win tonight over the Hickory Crawdads by a score of 6-0. This win placed them alone at the top of the standings in first place. This win also improves the Hoppers to 13-5 on the year! Aaron Senne slammed a home run almost all the way back to Greensboro on a solo run home run in the 2nd inning for the first run of the game. The Hoppers crossing home plate tonight were Brent Keys, Ryan Rieger, Aaron Senne, James Wooster, Wilfredo Gimenez, and Austin Barnes! Way to go Hoppers! Since it was an away game I was not in attendance tonight, but thank you to the Radio Broadcasters at Greensboro Sports for keeping me informed on the game! As always, I echo the sentiment, IT’S A GREAT TIME TO BE A HOPPER!

-jordan

Hoppers Nine-Hole Hitters Deliver The Win (8/24/2011)

Tonight’s Greensboro Grasshoppers game against the West Virginia Power was a true joy to attend on many fronts. Obviously, a Hoppers victory is always a pleasure. I also spent the evening at the game with Donald, one of my good friends. Finally, it was a huge day for adding to my autograph collection. The Hoppers won, 3-1. Check out the official box score and game recap for the details, but I think Twitter user @CBinder513 said it best:

Grasshoppers’nine-hole hitters today: 2-3, 2 HR, 3 RBI in a 3-1 game. Noah Perio comes in for Joe Bonadonna and hits a 2-run shot.

Seriously, it was that exciting. You don’t usually expect decisive gameplay from the bottom of your lineup, but tonight, the Hoppers delivered. When the Power put a run on the board in the sixth inning, Joe Bonadonna responded by blasting a solo home run high over left field. At first, I thought it had drifted foul, but it was ruled fair. Especially since Joe doesn’t get as much playing time as his teammates, it was great to see him hit that homer. The official score had him going 1-2, but I scored his plate appearance in the fourth as a sacrifice bunt, so I had him 1-1. I don’t disagree with the official scorer, though. Then, with the score tied at 1 apiece, Noah Perio replaced Bonadonna in the eighth and hit a home run of his own, very high over right-center field. Isaac Galloway had just reached on a double, so Perio’s homer brought him in as well. It was pretty awesome. After last night’s loss, it was great to come back and get a solid win.

I’ve got a few pictures with highlights from the game, and a bunch of pictures on the Facebook photo album.

FIrst, let’s celebrate the promotion of the night by checking out Spaz, Mike, and Laura in their disco attire:

Spaz, Mike, and Laura Bring Back Disco

I totally want a big black fuzzy hat like Spaz has.

How about our starting pitcher, Zach Neal? I think this was his 2nd start after coming off the disabled list. He lasted three and two-third innings, allowed two hits, issued three walks, and one strike-out. I think it was a pretty good start for him. Here he is pitching:

Zach Neal Pitching

Zach Neal Pitching

Zach was replaced by Greg Nappo (whose autograph I got at Monday’s game), who pitched three and a third innings and delivered an impressive seven strikeouts. Four of those Ks were in a row — batters 2-5 that he faced. He allowed four hits, the only run, and issued just one walk. I was very impressed and hope that I get to see him pitch again before the season’s over. Here’s a picture of Greg pitching:

Greg Nappo pitching

Finally, here’s a picture of Joe Bonadonna coming home after hitting his solo homer:

Joe Bonadonna's Homer

Earlier, I mentioned it was a great night for me for autographs. Let me show them to you. First, there were my baseball cards. I got Power’s pitcher Jameson Taillon‘s autographed on the two cards out of the SAL All-Star sets I have. I also got Hoppers Manager Andy Haines’ autograph on his card. Andy was especially kind to come back to the tunnel to sign my card before the game after having to do some actual baseball-related work just before they introduced the umpires.

Autographs: Jameson Taillon, Andy Haines

I also got a couple of baseballs autographed. Jameson Taillon and one of my favorite Hoppers, Mark Canha. I’m going to miss Mark’s walk-up music next year — he always comes to the plate to Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone.”

Autographs: Jameson Taillon, Mark Canha

Lastly, I got yet another Jameson Taillon autograph. This one is particularly special, because it’s on a photograph that another fan, Pete, took at last night’s game:

Jameson Taillon Autograph, Photo Credit: Pete

Seriously, this photograph is totally awesome, super-boss, and just plain cool. My scan came out OK, but the actual print is killer. I’ll be getting a frame for this and adding it to the baseball mini-museum I’ve started curating in an empty cube at my office. (I’ll write a post about that in the off season….) Super-big thanks go out to Pete for giving me a copy of this picture so I can add it to my autograph collection. Looking through some of the pictures he’s taken this year, I know exactly what’s going on my birthday/Christmas wish list this year: a nice telephoto lens suitable for sports photography. I had never considered taking pictures at the game, printing them out, and then bringing them to the next game for autographs. It’s super cool.

So, why all the focus on autographs from a West Virginia Power pitcher? Yeah, I’m the Hoppers Fan, but I also enjoy good baseball, and Taillon is a player to watch. He was last year’s number two overall draft pick (second to Bryce Harper). He’s got a fastball that flirts with 100mph. He’s got a nice curveball. And he’s just 19. He’s definitely got a major league career ahead of him. It was exciting to watch him work last night. And he was very gracious to autograph-seeking fans like me tonight.

To top all of that off, I got to hang with my buddy Donald for the whole game. He even bought me a hot dog and a drink. Even more — he grabbed a foul ball tonight that bounced off the upper deck and headed back our way. As soon as he picked it up, he handed it to the kid in the row in front of us. Made that kid’s day. I’m not sure a better evening of baseball could be had.

Here’s how I had the game scored. Check out the action that Bonadonna and Perio delivered in the sixth and eighth innings.

8/24/2011 Scorecard: Greensboro (3) v West Virginia (1)

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?

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

Big Error In 9th Creates Walk-Off Win For Hoppers (8/22/2011)

The Greensboro Grasshoppers are back in town for a 9 day homestand: four games against the West Virginia Power and five games against the Delmarva Shorebirds. We pretty much need to sweep the entire homestand in order to set ourselves up for a playoff spot. We got off on the right foot tonight with a 4-3 win, that went all the way to the bottom of the ninth.

Starting for the Hoppers tonight was Kyle Winters, who pitched five innings, and was set up for the win with the Hoppers leading 2-1 at the bottom of the fifth, when he was relieved by James Leverton. Kyle ended up with no decision however, as the score became tied 3-3 in the top of the ninth. Leverton was replaced by Michael Brady, who came away with the win when he Hoppers scored in the bottom of the ninth on a big error by West Virginia.

Here’s how the bottom of the ninth went down. Batting out of the seven-hole, Danny Black singled on a nice hit to right field. J. T. Realmuto followed with a nice sacrifice bunt that pushed Danny to second. Isaac Galloway singled on a ground ball to first base, but the first baseman made a fielding error that allowed Danny to score from 2nd base. And that was the game. The Hoppers had pretty good command of the game, but when West Virginia scored those two runs to tie it in the ninth, it was starting to get tense. When the Hoppers got the win, everyone mobbed the field in celebration.

These are the results we need if we want a shot at post-season play.

Want to see Kyle Winters pitching? I thought so:

Kyle Winters Pitching

How about James Leverton? I thought so, too:

James Leverton Pitching

How about Player Of The Game Danny Black hitting a single? Yeah, I’ve got that for you:

Danny Black Hitting

Lots more pictures on the Facebook photo album. I actually managed to get some action shots of every Hoppers batting this time. So if you want to see any of them, be sure to check out the full album.

Before the game, Greg Nappo was signing autographs at the autograph table. I got his autograph on one of my baseballs:

Greg Nappo Autograph

And here’s how I had the game, without bothering to do the stats. Look how tense that ninth inning was:

8/22/2011 Scorecard: Hoppers (4) v Power (3)

That’s it for me. Tomorrow’s another day, another game. Let’s keep winning.

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?

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