Bill Hass on Baseball:Hoppers stifled by Kannapolis 4-0

Posted by Guest Columnist on June 21, 2015 at 1:39 am under Professional | Comments are off for this article

Hoppers stifled by Kannapolis 4-0
from Bill Hass with Bill on Baseball(Greensboro Grasshoppers) at….

Eighteen half-innings were played at NewBridge Bank Park Saturday night and in 17 of them, no runs were scored.

Unfortunately for the Hoppers, Kannapolis put four runs on the board in the sixth inning and maintained the lead for a 4-0 victory.

Greensboro was held to five hits by a trio of Intimidator pitchers and advanced only one runner to third base all night. Zach Thompson went the first five innings and earned the win, Brad Salgado threw the next three and Matt Cooper finished in the ninth.

“Give them credit,” said Hoppers manager Kevin Randel. “But our at-bats were not great. We were a little flat offensively, they had one big inning and it was game over.”

The Hoppers never got anything going on offense, going three up and three down in five of their at-bats. Only once did they manage two hits in an inning and they drew no walks.

Greensboro’s pitching matched that of Kannapolis for five innings as Jorgan Cavanerio pitched shutout ball. He got the first two outs in the sixth, the second when he bare-handed a bunt and made a strong throw to first.

But then things unraveled, although he could have used some defensive help. Cavanerio gave up a single, threw a wild pitch and hit a batter. Alexander Simon singled in one run, which as it turned out would have been enough to win.

On a ground ball by Nick Basto, third baseman Brian Schales cut in front of a surprised shortstop Justin Twine but couldn’t handle it cleanly. It was ruled an infield hit and loaded the bases.

“It was a tough play for either of them,” Randel said, “but they need better communication.”

Brett Austin, an alumnus of NC State, sliced a drive to right field that got past a diving Zach Sullivan and cleared the bases for a three-run triple. Randel said Sullivan “did what he had to do. It was a catchable ball that tailed away a little. Cavanerio pitched great. The bounces just didn’t go our way.”

Drew Steckenrider, who was scheduled to pitch Friday’s game that turned into a rainout, pitched the last three innings, giving up a hit and three walks and striking out two.

Cavanerio’s performance was better than his stat line, which charged him with four earned runs in six innings.

“In the first five he was good,” said pitching coach Jeremy Powell. “He was getting early contact and using his changeup well. He went through their lineup pretty easily.”

The Hoppers, now with a 29-39 record, close out the first half of the season with a 4 p.m. game Sunday. Tyler Kolek (4-2) will get the start.

NOTES: The start of the game was delayed an hour by a heavy shower … Catcher Rodrigo Vigil was promoted to Jupiter and replaced on the roster by Roy Morales, who has been in extended spring training … Reliever Kyle Fischer moved up to Double-A Jacksonville, where bullpen help was needed … Former Hopper Kyle Kaminska, who got the save for Greenville Thursday night, has been promoted to Boston’s farm team in Salem, Va., in the Carolina League … Friday’s rainout will not be made up.

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