Bill Hass on Greensboro Grasshoppers’ Saturday night baseball:Encouraging pitching signs

Posted by Andy Durham on June 30, 2012 at 11:37 pm under Professional | Comments are off for this article

from Bill Hass at www/

Encouraging pitching signs

After being battered for a couple of games, the Hoppers pitching staff rebounded nicely on a hot, humid Saturday night.

Four pitchers combined for a six-hitter as Greensboro beat Hickory 4-2 in NewBridge Bank Park. The temperature sign read 96 degrees when the game started and 87 degrees when it ended at 10 p.m.

The Hoppers still didn’t get the deep-in-the-game starting effort they’ve been looking for, but there was a good reason. Charlie Lowell, in his second start since coming off the disabled list, pitched four innings and allowed one run on three hits and three walks while striking out seven. He went three innings in his previous start.

“Coming off an injury, we don’t want to push guys,” said manager David Berg. “We’re looking for more than just one game. We’re looking at a guy’s career.”

Pitching coach Blake McGinley said Lowell had better stuff than in his last start.

“He pitched ahead in the count and had command of all three pitches — fastball, a good changeup and a plus slider,” McGinley said.

James Nygren followed with two innings and gave up a run on a solo homer. Johnny Omahen threw two more and Brad Mincey retired the side in order to gain his fifth save. Nygren picked up the win, his fifth against one loss. Total for the bullpen: 5 innings, 3 hits, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts.

“Everyone pitched well, got ahead in the count and threw quality strikes down in the zone,” McGinley said.

Offensively, Ryan Rieger and Ryan Goetz had RBI doubles, James Wooster had a two-out RBI single and Tony Caldwell drove in a runner from third with a groundout. Austin Barnes had a single to extend his hitting streak to 10 games.

The series continues today with a 4 p.m. game at NewBridge Bank Park. Jose Urena, who pitched seven shutout innings in his last start, will be on the mound for the Hoppers.

Two regulars are on the disabled list. Shortstop Terrence Dayleg has an injured wrist and center fielder Brent Keys aggravated a hamstring. To replace them, the Hoppers activated outfielder John Schultz off the DL and were sent infielder Yeison Hernandez from Jamestown.

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