HOPPERS WIN IN 11 ON MORRISONâ€™S RBI SINGLE
By BILL HASS
GREENSBORO, N.C. â€“ Logan Morrison had a feeling about how Rome was going to pitch him, so he knew what he wanted to do.
And then he did it.
Morrisonâ€™s line drive single off the third basemanâ€™s glove scored James Guerrero from second base to give the Greensboro Grasshoppers a 6-5 win over the Braves in 11 innings Wednesday afternoon at First Horizon Park before 5,195 fans.
The left-handed Morrison, who was the designated hitter in this game, got the hit off Rome lefty Tyler Wilson.
â€œIn the dugout he said â€˜theyâ€™re going to pitch me middle away and Iâ€™m going to take it the other way,â€™â€ said Hoppers manager Edwin Rodriguez. â€œAnd he did.â€
Guerrero drew a one-out walk in the 11th and Scott Cousins also walked. Spike McDougall popped out for the second out, bringing up Morrison to test his theory. He took a ball, then lined the second pitch off the glove of leaping third baseman Robert Marcial into left field. Guerrero scored easily, waved around by hitting coach Anthony Iapoce, who handled the third base coaching duties.
â€œI figured they wouldnâ€™t come inside to me,â€ Morrison said. â€œI like to take the first pitch to see how the ball moves, and it was down and away. The second one was the same pitch, but elevated where I could hit it.â€
Morrison also drove in the game-tying run in the bottom of the ninth in an unconventional manner. Trailing 5-4, the Hoppers loaded the bases. With two outs, they brought in Wilson to face Morrison. On the second pitch, Morrison was hit on the elbow to force in Daniel Garcia with the tying run.
â€œI saw him warming up, so I wasnâ€™t surprised they brought him in to face me,â€ said Morrison, hitting just .160 against left-handed pitching. â€œHe hung a breaking ball and I was rolling with the pitch.â€
The win enabled the Hoppers to take three of four from Rome and finish their home stand 5-3. The also improved to 3-6 in home day games.
Blake Jones, the fourth Hoppers pitcher, picked up the win. Starter Kyle Winters pitched seven strong innings, allowing four hits and two runs while striking out six.
Cousins drilled his 14th homer of the year, a two-run shot in the fifth inning that capped a four-run rally. He was the only Hoppers batter with two hits.
Rome got two hits each from Travis Jones, Brandon Hicks and Danny Brezeale. Phillip Britton hit his seventh homer of the year, a solo shot in the ninth that put the Braves ahead 5-4.
The Hoppers head out on a four-game road trip at Hagerstown that begins Thursday. They return home Tuesday, Aug. 21, against Hickory.
*****Don Moore, Robert Stutts, and all the entire greensborosports.com crew were out there in the heat and they helped bring home the victory*****