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.
Tonight was very fan friendly. There was a corn hole tournament up on Natty’s Hill, there was the between inning games that are always a blast, and post game we had The Band Of Oz performing in the grandstand. It was an incredible day at the ballpark. A friend of mine and me signed up for the corn hole tournament, but I guess everyone was scared of our mad skills because no one else signed up. We still played anyway. And having a good time with a good friend with baseball in the background is definitely a recipe for fun!
Miss Babe RuthThe above picture is a pretty common scene At the ballpark. is a black lab and has been trained to retrieve bats and balls for the players. The game was exciting to watch as well. I took a ton of pictures today and you can view all pictures on the HoppersFan page on Facebook.
So, on to the game…
Kannapolis would strike first in the first inning making it 1-0. The very next inning the Hoppers would score on a solo HOME RUN by Matt Smith. Tying the ballgame at 1-1. Neither team would score again till the 5th inning when Kannapolis would have 3 players cross the plate for a score of 4-1. But as we all know by now, our Hoppers may be down but they are never out! The hoppers would answer with two more runs in the 6th. Making the score 4-3. Kannapolis nor greensboro would score till the bottom of the ninth. Matt Smith would score the tying run on a single by Rand Smith. And like so many games this year, the heart attack hoppers went to extras. It remained 4-4 through the bottom of the 11th.
Here’s the scene: Hoppers tied 4-4. Bottom of the 11th. Matt Smith would single, putting him at first. James Wooster hit a sacrifice bunt advancing Smith to second. Terrence Dayleg would ground out, advancing Smith to 3rd. up walks Wilfredo Gimenez. For those that know me, know that Wilfredo at the beginning of the season, was not one of one my favorite players by far. But he has come a LONG way, and I must say I’m a fan. But, back to today’s game… Wilfredo walks up, 2 outs, Matt Smith on Third. Wilfredo steps up and blast a single just barely over the first baseman’s glove! Matt Smith Scores!!!! HOPPERS WIN! HOPPERS WIN! HOPPERS WIN!
The team rushing the field in celebration!
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)
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!
It seems like the Hoppers always have something you can always count on. For example, last year we all knew Marcell was always good for a home run, Christian was always going to try and steal to second (which he usually got picked off….), and Isaac Galloway was Mr. Clutch. When it was on the line, and Isaac came to the plate you knew magical things were gonna happen. This year, I’ve been very impressed with the heavy bats so far. So far this season, there are only five hoppers out of the fifteen man hitting rotation that have not hit a home run. Josh Adams has hit five. Adams also hit two in one game last home stand. One thing is certain, the Hoppers are on fire and they are bringing their bats with them.
In today’s 8-4 victory against the Crawdads, there were three homers from the Hoppers: Austin Barnes, Matt Smith, and Josh Adams. Starting pitcher was Charlie Lowell. He pitched 6 innings, 6 strikeouts, and allowed 2 hits. He was relieved by Daniel Oliver who pitched one inning, allowed 2 hits, and 1 strikeout. The Hoppers to cross the plate were Josh Adams, Ryan Goetz, Matt Smith, and Brent Keys. Today was a definite scorcher. It reached about 91 on the field. If this is how our boys play in the heat, bring it on!!! As always I echo the sentiment heard round the ballpark… IT’S A GREAT TIME TO BE A HOPPER!