96 Degrees and Rising at First Horizon Park

The Greensboro Grasshoppers had to make a comeback but that is exactly what they did in the bottom of the 10th inning and in the end the Hoppers were 2-1 winners over the Lake County Captains. The Captains and the Hoppers split a 4 game series at 2-2 and now the Hoppers are still in the hunt for the South Atlantic League’s first half crown in the Northern Division. The Hoppers will keep up the chase for the pennant and they are headed to Delmarva on Thursday with hopes of grabbing the flag.

The Hoppers looked like sure fire winners on Tuesday up 1-0 and trying to make a winner out of starter Sean West. The big lefty West was at his best with 8 srtikeouts and only 1 walk through 7 innings. West had to leave the game after he had reached his pitch count and as he left, West had struck out the last 4 men he had faced.

The Hoppers had picked up one run early in the game after a Brett Hayes double and then a poor throw by LCC shortstop Nuiman Romero allowed James Guerrero to reach first base and Hayes came in to score the games only run through 8 and half innings.

The Hoppers turned to Todd Doolittle after West left the game and Doolittle got it done even though he got roughed up a little bit but when Todd was pulled the Hoppers called on last Sunday’s hero Wes Letson. Lefty Letson was the winner back on Sunday for the Hoppers over the Captains and before this hot one was over he would be the winner again.

Letson gave up a solo homerun to Matt Fornasiere in the top of the 9th and the Hoppers saw their Victory go up in smoke. Lefty Letson had blown the save after Todd Doolittle had gained the hold and now the Hoppers were in a 102 Jam and headed for extra innings.

The Hoppers and Captains played one-run ball all weekend long and now after Saturday’s 5-4 Captains win, Sunday’s Hoppers 7-6 win, and the Captains 7-6 sizzler on Monday, we had another tight rope being pulled at FHP with the temps hovering between 92-96 degrees all afternoon long.

The game would stay deadlocked at 1-1 after 9 and half even though the Hoppers had left the bases loaded in the 8th and had 2 men LOB in the 9th there was still hope as the hometown heros from the Gate City came to the plate in the bottom of the 10th.

Jared Gaston got hit by a pitch and was moved over to 3rd base on a ball hit on the ground and through the second baseman’s legs by James Guerrero and up to the plate comes Gary Roche for the Grasshoppers. Gary had struck out with the bases loaded his last time up and had killed a rally that could have won the game, but this time around Gary comes through and hits a single right up the middle for the game winning RBI that drives in Jared Gaston with the game winner and the Hoppers win 2-1 over the Lake County Captains in 10 innings.

That was a hard-earned win for the Grasshoppers and as we mentioned earlier, Lefty Letson got the win his second in the past 3 days, now Letson is 2-0 after getting to Greensboro from Alabama this past Saturday right before game time.

The Hoppers have a couple of injuries, Augustin Septimo(wrist) and Jon Fulton(hand). There is no word on how long the guys will be out of the lineup.

We had a few guests up the press box during the homestand, including Joe Mock of Ballparks.com, Gaby Sanchez’ parents stopped by, Steve Gladson of the BG BP and his wife Brenda visited, Spaz the Hoppers team motivator did some on air commentary on AM 950 WPET during Tuesday’s day game, Donald Moore the Hoppers President and GM came on board and Jim Modlin and Doug Cockman were in their usual roles as co-pilots on the flight or the Radio Broadcast if you prefer.

The Temps were rising up to 96 degrees on Tuesday but the Grasshoppers still did what they came to do and that was get a win. The Ragsdale Tigers will try to the same thing when they go for the State 3-A High School Baseball title in a best-of-three series versus DH Conley that gets under way at First Horizon Park Friday night at 8pm. Good Luck to coach Donnie Maness and his Tigers with big Trevor Mullins on the mound and Catlin Carter not to far away ready for action on the hill as well. Brandon Phelps is the big hitter for the Tigers and he will be needed as DH Conley has been compared in some circles to DH Griffin the team that Bernie Myers coached here in the Gate City for so many seasons.

A couple of honest questions to close out this session here at greensborosports.com. What happened to Joseph Lovell the man behind the mic and music at 97.1 and 1510 AM WEAL? Joseph was a Gospel great and now we hear he is gone but where? Joseph did the early mornings on 97.1 and then kept it going on 1510. Where da man, people are asking? On another front, what happened to the Wash Tub Laundramat on Randleman Road? People had been doing their clothes in that Tub for many years and I drove by that area today and the Tub was gone. Rumor has it that JJ Walker used to do his clothes at the Wash Tub when he was in town and ready to Git Down with a load of clothes and some Dynomite, and my guess is a box of Tide too. The Jet Station on Randleman Road gone and now the Wash Tub, what is this World coming to? They also closed down the Free Dry laundramat on Phillips Avenue a month or so back and you gotta be thinking, Who’s Next Brother?