from Will Cornelius(NWG/Guilford College) Hoppers’ media
HOPPERS’ OFFENSE HELPS JOHNSON PITCH PAST KANNAPOLIS IN FINALE
GREENSBORO, NC â€“ The Grasshoppers put it all together again on Sunday, using timely hitting and quality pitching to down Kannapolis 8-5 in the series finale.
Hoppersâ€™ starter Graham Johnson (5-1) was greeted to a rude start, when the Intimidators pieced together three hits to bring across two runs in the opening frame.
Johnson settled in after the shaky start, hurling five scoreless innings to finish the day having surrendered just two runs. A victim of control issues over the course of the season, Johnson zoned in nicely in Sundayâ€™s contest, walking just one Kannapolis hitter while pitching himself around nine hits over six innings.
Brandon Todd entered from the bullpen to breeze through his two innings on the hill, allowing two runs while fanning two.
Toddâ€™s two innings set the table for Pete Andrelczyk, who came on for his team-best 26th appearance. Andrelczyk, who remains perfect in save opportunities this season, threw in a non-save situation tonight to lock down Johnsonâ€™s fifth win of the season.
The Grasshoppers offense certainly did their part to ensure the win for Johnson, reaching double digit hits for the third consecutive game.
The Hoppersâ€™ jumped on the board early in the second inning when Daniel Pertusati drove in Kyle Skipworth on a line drive to right field. Short stop Emilio Ontiveros followed with an RBI double down the left field line to plate Pertusati and tie things at two apiece.
Pertusati broke the tie in the next inning with his third home run of the season, a towering opposite-field blast.
With Johnson on cruise control, the Hoppers added to their one run lead in the sixth inning, when a five-fun rally broke things open in the contest.
The big inning began when Justin Jacobs walked and swiped second base before coming home on an Ontiveros single. A fielderâ€™s choice, walk, and throwing error kept the inning alive for the Hoppers, giving All-Star Ben Lasater enough time to make the Intimidators pay with a three-run homer to right field.
Kannapolis would tack on run in each of the final three innings, but fall short in their pursuit of a comeback, falling to the Hoppers for the third time in the last two days.
With the win, the Hoppers (37-33) finished the first half of the season on a three game winning streak, and tied for second place in the Northern Divisions standings. The Hoppers will send five representatives to play in the All-Star game before returning home on Thursday, June 26th to host the West Virginia Power in the first contest of the second half of the season.
Media Relations, Intern
Greensboro Grasshoppers Baseball