Bill Hass on Baseball:Anderson’s walk-off HR wins for Hoppers

Posted by Guest Columnist on July 31, 2014 at 10:11 am under Professional | Comments are off for this article

“I was looking for a good pitch to hit and I got a fastball up in the zone, put a good swing on it and it carried out,” he said of his two-run homer in the bottom of the 12th inning that gave the Hoppers an 8-6 win over Asheville Wednesday.
(Brian Anderson-Greensboro Grasshoppers)

Anderson’s walk-off HR wins for Hoppers
from Bill Hass with Bill on Baseball(Greensboro Grasshoppers) at www.gsohoppers.com….

Facing his fourth different pitcher of the night, Brian Anderson had one thing in mind.

“I was looking for a good pitch to hit and I got a fastball up in the zone, put a good swing on it and it carried out,” he said of his two-run homer in the bottom of the 12th inning that gave the Hoppers an 8-6 win over Asheville Wednesday.

The game was nearly four hours old when Anderson drilled a shot to left center field off the Tourists’ Scott Firth, who had just entered the game. Carlos Lopez greeted him with a single and, after Felix Munoz flied out, Anderson hit his fourth homer since joining the Hoppers about three weeks ago.

There are only so many adjustments a hitter will make after facing that many pitchers.

“Some threw hard, some threw soft, some were sidearm and some were over the top,” Anderson said. “You just look for anything elevated that you can barrel up.”

The Hoppers got excellent bullpen work with four shutout innings from the ninth through the 12th by Tyler Kane, Tyler Kinley and Miguel del Pozo, who picked up the win. Kane registered two strikeouts in that span, Kinley added four and del Pozo two. Kane’s work in the ninth, after he was touched for a run in the eighth, was the key.

“We needed him to throw another inning,” said pitching coach Jeremy Powell. “He had to face the middle of the order and he punched out the number four and five hitters.”

Last week the Hoppers beat Asheville two out of three on the road, then stumbled by losing three of four at Augusta. Back at home, they rose to the occasion against the Tourists, whom they have beaten six times in eight games this year. Asheville has been the hottest team in the league in the second half and now stands 29-11. The Hoppers improved to 25-15.

Anderson said he has quickly picked up on the tension between the teams, who could possibly meet in the post-season.

“It’s pretty intense,” he said. “It’s becoming a rivalry and it’s fun. I’m sure it will be even more intense if we meet in the playoffs.”

The game had its odd aspects. When Ramon del Orbe hit Asheville’s Max White to lead off the fifth inning, home plate umpire Grant Conrad warned both benches. That usually means the next hit batter, intentional or not, warrants the ejection of the pitcher.

In the top of the sixth, del Orbe hit Josh Graeter but Conrad didn’t throw him out. Asheville manager Fred Ocasio left the coaches’ box at third base to find out why and was ejected for his trouble.

Then, in the bottom of the inning, Asheville’s Johendi Jiminian hit Anderson and remained in the game. Hoppers manager David Berg confronted Conrad and was also tossed. Berg compounded things by throwing a bucket of balls and a bag of balls on the field from the dugout.

“It was a combination of things,” Berg said. “I wasn’t feeling good, we had a rough trip to Augusta and didn’t play well there and I’ve got creature bites all over my body. These guys (umpires) issue warnings and then don’t do anything about them. They don’t stick with what they say.”

The one thing that made him feel better was getting a glimpse of Anderson’s game-winning swing from the tunnel to the locker rooms.

NOTES: Austin Dean had two RBIs on a pair of singles and Brad Haynal had a two-run single that tied the game 6-6 in the bottom of the eighth … Starter Domingo German, whose innings are being closely monitored, wasn’t particularly sharp in his three innings. He may go four innings his next couple of starts and then five … Sean Townsley (biceps tendinitis) probably won’t return until late in August … Ryan Wertenberger will start Thursday’s game for the Hoppers.


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