from Will Cornelius Hoppers’ media:
HOPPERSâ€™ BATS CATCH FIRE TO OUTSLUG RIVERDOGS 11-10
GREENSBORO, NC â€“ The Greensboro Grasshoppers finally ended a five-game losing streak Thursday night, as Johnny Dorn (10-6) and an amped offense jumped out to an early lead, escaped a late Charleston surge, and ultimately defeated the RiverDogs in an offensive showcase, 11-10.
Dorn, who picked up his team-high 10th win, surrendered back-to-back singles in the first, but wiggled free from the jam with the help of a 3-6-1 double play. His counterpart, Charleston first-rounder Andrew Brackman (1-11), also hurled his way past a leadoff walk by recording two strikeouts to end the inning.
After registering just one hit a night ago, the Grasshoppers exploded in tonightâ€™s second inning, tagging Brackman for seven runs to give the Hoppers a big lead early in Thursdayâ€™s rain-delayed contest.
Kyle Skipworth started the hit parade when he took Brackmanâ€™s 2-2 offering off the scoreboard in right field. Daniel Pertusati followed Skipworthâ€™s two-run shot with a seeing-eye single between the first and second basemen. Kevin Mattison sent Pertusati to third with a double into the right field corner, putting two runners in scoring position with Paul Gran stepping to the plate.
Gran delivered with the two runners on, as he dropped a single in front of centerfielder Abraham Almonte to bring home both runners and extend the Hoppersâ€™ lead to four runs. An Isaac Galloway bloop double down the left field line put runners in scoring position yet again, and brought Ben Lasater to the plate with the bases loaded. Lasater turned on a deep fly ball to left field, but settled for the sacrifice fly after the left fielder robbed him of a grand slam. Jake Smolinski picked up the Hoppersâ€™ final hit of the inning with an excuse me double down the right field line. He picked up an RBI with the base knock, and eventually scored the final run of the inning on a wild pitch.
Two singles, a walk, and hit batsman in the next inning helped Charleston cut the lead to five, but the Hoppers churned out another big inning in the fifth, where they plated four more runs to cushion their 11-2 advantage.
Charleston relievers zoned in after the Hoppersâ€™ second big inning, as Luke Prihoda and Jeff Williams combined to blank the Hopper bats through the remainder of the game. The RiverDogs rallied for eight unanswered runs in the final four frames, brining Charleston back within striking distance late in the contest.
After back-to-back three-run innings in the sixth and seventh, lefty Dan Jennings came out of the bullpen to hold Charleston scoreless in the eighth inning. Jennings fanned three over 1 2/3 innings of work before yielding to righty closer Pete Andrelczyk.
Andrelczyk, who remains tied for fourth in the league in appearances, came on for his 36th time this season. Although he picked up his 16th save of the year, Andrelczyk provided an interesting finish to an already wild back-and-forth contest.
The RiverDogs began their comeback effort with two straight singles, and advanced both runners into scoring position after a wild pitch and fielderâ€™s choice. Andrelczyk made a nice play to nab the leadoff man at home on the ensuing play, but allowed the next batter to single home the inningsâ€™ first run. Catcher Mitch Abeita fought off a tough two-strike pitch to plate the RiverDogs second run of the inning, brining Charleston within one run of tying up the ballgame.
But Andrelczyk took care of the last hitter himself, striking out his only hitter of the night to preserve the Hoppersâ€™ 11-10 victory.
After two polar opposite finishes through the first two games, the Grasshoppers (45-51) will play host to Charleston for game three of the series tomorrow evening. The Hoppers will go for two in a row in Fridayâ€™s contest, and look to go up two games to one with another win at NewBridge Bank Park.
First pitch is slated for 7:05 p.m., with fireworks immediately following the ballgame.
Media Relations, Intern
Greensboro Grasshoppers Baseball