Bill Hass on Baseball:Hoppers held to one hit in 9-1 loss

Posted by Andy Durham on June 21, 2014 at 10:00 am under Professional | Comments are off for this article

from Bill Hass with Bill on Baseball(Greensboro Grasshoppers) at….

Hoppers held to one hit in 9-1 loss

When it finally started, this one went south in a hurry.

After a delay of an hour and 10 minutes to let a storm clear the area Friday night, the Hagerstown Suns jumped on the Hoppers for five runs in the first inning and cruised to a 9-1 win.

Greensboro managed only one hit, a single by Cody Keefer in the eighth inning off reliever Andrew Cooper. Suns starter Nick Pivetta didn’t allow a hit in his six innings, although he gave up an unearned run. He posted his ninth win, tops in the South Atlantic League.

“We had only two or three hard-hit balls all night,” said hitting coach Frank Moore. “He was sneaky. He pitched in, pitched away and kept us off balance. He pitched a hell of a game.”

The outstanding effort stopped two Hoppers hitting streaks, Avery Romero’s at 16 games and Justin Bohn’s at 12 games.

“He was on and we were off,” Romero summed up neatly. “He did a great job locating his pitches.”

Ryan Newell had been one of the Hoppers’ most effective starters down the stretch of the first half, winning three straight road games. But he got off to a rocky start with the game’s first hitter. He struck out Narciso Mesa, but the pitch was in the dirt and bounced away from catcher Chad Wallach. Mesa was safe at first on the wild pitch.

Newell retired the next two hitters and should have been out of the inning. But the Suns made him pay for the extra out, tagging him in succession for a single, double, single and a two-run homer to put up five runs.

“Their hitters were aggressive and they ambushed him early,” said pitching coach Jeremy Powell. “He never went inside and his fastball was catching too much of the plate. Hopefully he’ll learn to pitch in and keep the ball out of the middle of the plate.”

Newell managed five innings but gave up 10 hits and seven runs. He continued his inability to be effective in NewBridge Bank Park. All seven of his wins have come on the road, in 10 starts. In his five starts at home, Newell is 0-4.

In two games the Suns have tattooed the Hoppers staff for 20 runs and 30 hits. They have hit five home runs, including three Friday.

The Hoppers, first-half champions of the Northern Division, are 44-28 on the season but are winless in two games in the second half.

“We’re all pretty confident we can turn this around quick,” Romero said. “This is just a bump in the road.”

The game had its curious aspects. Both teams used a Carlos Lopez, creating some unusual plays. The Hoppers’ Carlos Lopez grounded out to the Suns’ Carlos Lopez, the Suns’ Carlos Lopez made one of his four errors on a ball hit by the Hoppers’ Carlos Lopez, and the Suns’ Carlos Lopez flied out to the Hoppers’ Carlos Lopez in right field.

In addition, the Hoppers used Ramon del Orbe, Miguel del Pozo and Esmerling de la Rosa on the mound, the first time all three “Dels” have appeared in the same game.

The series continues Saturday night with Jarlin Garcia starting for the Hoppers.

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