More on the Hoppers win over Marlins

Posted by Andy Durham on April 3, 2010 at 9:52 pm under Professional | Comments are off for this article

More on the Greensboro Grasshoppers 8-7 win over the Florida Marlins from


GREENSBORO, N.C. – The 2010 edition of the Greensboro Grasshoppers played a game for the memory books Saturday afternoon.

The Hoppers, a class A South Atlantic League affiliate of the Florida Marlins, played an exhibition against the big club and came away with an 8-7 victory in 10 innings.

Greensboro manager Andy Haines believes the win can be a springboard for success during the regular season.
“I’m a big believer that if a club wins a couple games late, then things start rolling for you in that direction,” he said. “It takes a couple of times doing it, and usually it’s contagious and your team starts thinking it and starts playing full of confidence.”

The game was played before 9,362 fans, the sixth-largest crowd in NewBridge Bank Park history.

Attendance topped Florida’s previous visit in 2005, when 8,540 watched the Marlins tattoo the Hoppers 21-2 in the first game played in the facility.

Things were structured differently this time. In an effort to balance the competition, three pitchers slotted for Double-A or Triple-A berths were loaned to the Hoppers. Alex Sanabia, A.J. Battisto and Garrett Parcell all pitched previously in Greensboro. Also on loan was former Hopper Scott Cousins, who played right field.
Sanabia gave up four runs in four innings, but only one was earned as the Hoppers committed six errors. Battisto and Parcell pitched 2.2 innings of shutout ball.
Four pitchers who will be on the Hoppers staff were used. Jose Alvarez was roughed up for three runs in two-third of an inning. Greensboro’s other three pitchers – Arquimedes Caminero, Alejanero Ramos and Sandy Rosario – each threw an inning of shutout ball. Ramos recorded three strikeouts. Rosario was the winning pitcher.

“I’ve never been a part of a good ballclub that didn’t have a lights-out bullpen,” Haines said. “It just goes with the territory. That’s going to be the strength of this team if we’re going to have a really good club. And those are some electric arms down there.”

The Hoppers jumped to a 4-0 lead, thanks to Kyle Skipworth’s two-run homer in the second inning and RBI hits from Cousins and Kyle Jensen in the third. Skipworth, a catcher and Florida’s No. 1 draft pick in 2008, is the only position player returning to Greensboro from the 2009 team.

The Marlins, playing their regulars through five innings, came back to take a 7-4 lead. Jorge Cantu and Dan Uggla picked up RBIs in the fourth inning. In the fifth, Cameron Maybin hit a solo home run and Cantu added a two-run shot.

The Hoppers cut the lead to one run in the eighth inning. After Jensen walked and went to third on a ground-rule double by Carlos Paulino, Taylor Krick cracked a two-run double just inside the first-base bag to slice things to 7-6.

Having used their closer, Leo Nunez, in the sixth inning, the Marlins brought in Brian Lawrence, who has six years of major-league experience, for the ninth. Hoppers second baseman Jose Torres sent Lawrence’s first pitch into the left-field stands to tie the game 7-7.
The Marlins agreed to play one extra inning, with the result after the 10th to stand. Rosario disposed of their hitters in order in the top of the inning.

Paulino led off the bottom of the 10th against Lawrence with his second double of the game. He was sacrificed to third by Krick. After Rand Smith was hit by a pitch and Michael Pasek popped out, Torres hit a chopper up the middle that he beat out for a hit as Paulino scored the winning run. It was Torres’ third hit of the game.
“He ties the game and then he wins the game,” Haines said. “He loves to play. When the lights go on, he can flat go. He’s only 19 years old and he’s going to be fun to watch this summer.”

Haines said the chance to play against major-leaguers was an opportunity his players will never forget.
“Regardless of the outcome,” he said, “the biggest thing is it gives them a barometer of what they’ve got to be, what they’ve got to do and what is in the major leagues. It’s a lot different when you’re on the field with them than when you’re watching from the seats. That was an invaluable experience and I’m just thankful to our organization that this goes on.”

Click on the Hoppers link above to find everything about the team for this season…….

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