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!
With an on field temperature of 102 degrees at the first pitch, to say it was hot was an understatement. Spaz always does a seat upgrade during every game promoting LAZY-BOY recliners. He has dubbed this “the best seats in the house”. These “best seats” consist of four recliners at the top of the seating bowl behind home plate. Tonight, the “best seats in the house” clearly was out in the SUNBRELLA zone located in right field. Sitting there underneath umbrellas with an ice cold Mountain Dew, a great friend, and baseball. What’s better than that? Yeah. A win would’ve capped it off, but when you have secured the northern division playoff spot, I’m okay with just enjoying games for the sake of enjoying them.
Tonights game was enjoyable from a Hoppers standpoint as well. I got to witness Austin Barnes slam his 4th home run tonight! Which I love seeing guys like that perform well. Aaron Senne and Austin Barnes hit homers tonight. Both great guys doing great things in the diamond. Tonight was Aaron’s 3rd homer in four nights. That is quite the accomplishment! Hoppers were facing the Hickory Crawdads, which coming into tonight were 7-2 in the second half, and are currently in first place. Needless to say, the heat wasn’t the only struggle our boys were going to have to overcome.
Pitchers tonight were the newly acquired Scott Lyman, who pitched 5.2 innings, allowed 8 hits and four strikeouts. Greg Nappo threw 1.1 innings, allowed 3 hits and 4 strikeouts. Nappo would be relieved by Jose Rodreguez would pitch 1 inning, allowing 1 hit and 1 strikeout. Brad Mincy then came up to finish off the night, allowing 2 hits and no strikeouts.
The big hitters of the night were, Aaron Senne with a two run homer to right field. Austin Barnes slamming his homer in the bottom of the ninth. Aaron Senne went 3-4 tonight and Austin Barnes went 4-1, with his home run being his lonely hit on the night. Ryan Goetz also went 3-1 on the night. Hoppers fell to the Crawdads to a score of 11-4. With this loss the Hoppers drop to 4-5 in the second half standings and currently three games back. Come and check out your Hoppers tomorrow for another scorcher. Temperature tomorrow is predicted to be around 105. Maybe, it’ll be just hot enough to steam some Crawdads. As always, this is Jordan Stowe, and IT’S A GREAT TIME TO BE A HOPPER!
Between all the malfunctions tonight on the field, I don’t really know where to begin. I must say I was a little disoriented not having the scoreboard up and running. I guess with all the use it got during the ACC Tournament last week, it had about all it could take. The scoreboard was off for the majority of the game. I know this had to play to Hagerstown advantage. I say that because the scoreboard went off in the third inning and the Hagerstown Suns scored 6 runs that inning. Charlie Lowell was the pitcher on the mound. Thankfully, we have an awesome PA Announcer in Jim Scott that gave us the pitching counts and so forth. However, it was distracting to the players I’m sure.
The reason for the TUMS after the 6 run inning is this… Everyone around the ballpark by now know that you truly can’t count out the Hoppers. Greensboro Baseball just has a will to win that can not be matched. In the top of the fifth, Hagerstown would score again, making it 7-0. Thats a mighty steep hill to climb to most. Good thing the Hoppers strapped on their cleats and started to climb. In the bottom of the 5th, Wilfredo Gimenez would cross the plate off of a Terrence Dayleg single. Which while I’m at it, Wilfredo had an excellent game tonight, I thought. But he would cross the plate making it 7-1. Hagerstown would then score two more in the ninth inning. Just as everyone stood to put their rally caps on, bottom of the ninth, Matt Smith gets a walk, heads to first. Next pitch, Wilfredo would single, moving Matt Smith to second. Austin Barnes would then be walked to load the bases. Up walks Ryan Goetz to the plate… GRAND SLAM HOME RUN to unload the bases!!! This would make the score 9-6 in the bottom of the ninth, Hagerstown’s favor. James Wooster steps up to the plate, line drive single causing Terrence Dayleg to score. Making it 9-7, and that would end up as the final. This game was an incredible game to be at and to proudly be able to claim to be a part of this Greensboro Baseball family.
This game tonight proves that on today, Memorial Day, soldiers fight under the same flag our boys fought back on the field tonight. And just like the many soldiers, firefighters, law enforcement officers, and our very own Grasshoppers, tonight… I SALUTE YOU! And it is with that sentiment that I say it is, and always will be, a GREAT TIME TO BE A HOPPER!
Tonight was Military appreciation night, and what a night it was! With an on the field temperature of 73 degrees and wind slightly blowing, it made a great night for baseball. The pitchers on the mound tonight were Jose Urena and Austin Brice. They combined for an amazing 14 strikeouts!!! It was incredible to see that duo sling the ball. The score was tied at zero going into the 4th when Urena had two walks and then Lakewood would clear the bases before the inning was over making it 4-0. Josh Adams steps up to the plate in the bottom of the 4th and launches a home run to the moon before it landed somewhere outside of Winston Salem. It was a monster home run! Lakewood would not score the rest of the game. The bottom of the ninth, Josh Adams would hit a double putting him at second base. James Wooster steps up to the plate and launches a home run right off the score board in center field. Making the score 4-3. Terrence Dayleg would single, making the tying run on base, winning run at the plate. Wilfredo Gimenez (who’s been slumping bad this year) grounds a ball straight to second base, Dayleg is tagged out at second then to first, making it a double play to end the game. The Greensboro Grasshoppers snapped their 16 game home winning streak tonight to the Lakewood Blueclaws. With this loss they are 30-11 on the season, and currently still 6 games ahead of second place. So this loss really didn’t matter, in the scheme of things, lets just not make it a habit! Tonight was pretty close to a sell out and with tomorrows giveaway, its gonna be another crowd and another GREAT DAY TO BE A HOPPER!
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!
After the eighth inning of last night’s Greensboro Grasshoppers game against the Savannah Sand Gnats, my friends and I were wondering hoping that they’d let Robert Morey come back in for the 9th, in an attempt to get a complete game. He had been pitching great all night, facing only four over the minimum at that point. He had racked up 9 strikeouts and no walks. It hadn’t even registered to me that he was pitching a shutout. During the bottom of the eighth, they were warming up Michael Ojala, so we weren’t sure who was going to start the ninth. When Morey took the field, we were giddy with excitement. The first batter went down on a 6-3 groundout. The second batter made us nervous when he got into scoring position on a stand up double. But the third and fourth batters were easily retired with fly balls to left and center field and the game was over. Hoppers over the Sand Gnats, 5-0.
Robert Morey pitched a complete game.
Robert Morey pitched a complete game shutout.
I’ve never seen a pitcher pitch a complete game. I don’t think it happens very often in Low-A ball. To watch Morey work the game and secure a complete game shutout was a real thrill. The event was noteworthy enough that MiLB.com ran a story about the game. According to that article, Morey’s been lacking confidence this season, but last night’s game probably helped him in that regard. He notes that he’s happy with his curveball and the fact that he was throwing first-pitch strikes helped give him the confidence that his stuff was just where it needed to be. And in what I think is an incredibly classy move, he gives credit to catcher Jacob Realmuto for calling a great game.
Offensively, the Hoppers looked good, too. Three of our five runs were solo homers: Marcell Ozuna in the first, Christian Yelich in the third, and James Wooster in the fourth. The other two runs came in the seventh from Noah Perio and another run from Ozuna.
Lately, I’ve been showing up early to the games to watch batting practice from Eugene Street and snag BP balls. Last night, my wife and I decided to get supper before the game (we went downtown to the Mellow Mushroom, always a treat), and that ate into all of my BP time. We did drive by the ballpark on the way to supper, though, and I spotted a ball on the sidewalk against the fence. I pulled the car over and jumped out to retrieve it and found another ball along the fence on my way to pick that one up. BAM! Out of the car for 20 seconds and I snagged 2 more balls for my collection. The sweet spots were either too scuffed up or stained to make them good autograph balls, so they’ll probably find their way into the hands of a kid at the ballpark someday.
Once in the park, I concentrated on collecting more autographs on my card set and was very successful. I got autographs from Isaac Galloway, Noah Perio, Danny Black (who is sporting a pretty awesome “Second Half ‘Stache” now), Wilfredo Gimenez, Grant Dayton, Jordan Conley, Mike Ojala, and Michael Brady. I also had a quick chat with Kyle Winters, who is always friendly. His family made it out to the park for the last home stand, and I got to meet his mother (who sometimes comments in this blog as “catherine”). They’re all great people and Kyle said he was glad I got a chance to meet them.
After the first inning, I spent the evening watching the game from Section 110, next to the visitors dugout, with some friends. I think I’m going to move my season ticket to that area next year. I’m going to miss the tunnel area, but the view from that close is so much better, and it’s fun to heckle the opposing team.
Today’s one of the monthly season ticket holder Saturdays, where they’ll let us in the ballpark an hour early to watch batting practice, maybe hear a talk from a coach or players, and enjoy some complementary snacks. This is something new that they’re doing this year, and not many season ticket holders are taking advantage of it. I hope they keep it up because it’s a really nice perk.
Anyway, here’s how I had the game. I know of at least one error on my card: in the 2nd, Jet Butler was out on a dropped third strike, 2-3, not the 5-3 ground out I recorded. And I haven’t done the stats yet. I’m going to be keeping my eye out for Robert Morey for the rest of the season and try to get him to autograph this scorecard.
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?