Bill Hass on Hoppers Friday night

Posted by Andy Durham on July 28, 2012 at 12:01 am under Professional | Comments are off for this article

Momentum eludes Hoppers

So much for momentum.

After a five-run rally in the eighth inning on Thursday carried the Hoppers to a 9-6 win over West Virginia, players were hoping the game would be a springboard to better things in the second half.

The momentum lasted for one inning. The Hoppers took a 2-0 lead over Greenville Friday night, then were flattened by the Drive the rest of the way, eventually losing 8-4. It was the kind of inconsistent performance that has plagued the club in the second half, dropping them to a 15-20 record.

That’s the midpoint of the second half. Thirty-five games remain, so there’s still time to get back on track before the playoffs. But the players can’t just push a button and expect to revert to their first-half form. They’ve got to start playing consistently good baseball, which wasn’t the case Friday.

Friday’s starter, Jose Urena, wasn’t at his best, giving up five runs on five hits and a walk. His defense let him down, committing two throwing errors and one fielding error that contributed to two unearned runs. Reliever James Nygren was tagged for three more runs in two innings.

Baserunning mistakes hurt, too. Austin Nola was thrown out trying to stretch an RBI double into a triple in the first inning and Aaron Senne was thrown out at second after an RBI single. Both were the third outs of the inning.

Senne had two hits and three RBIs and Austin Barnes had a pair of triples and scored twice. That was about the extent of the offense.

The teams will play the second game of the series Saturday night with Josh Hodges pitching for Greensboro.

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