This had to be the wildest night in Greensboro Sports history. The Hoppers and Intimidators going toe-to-toe on the field. You went to a fight and a Baseball game broke out. There was Bad Blood between Greensboro and Kannapolis and it spilled out on to the field on Thursday night, a day that will go in Greensboro Sports history as the Wildest ever.
Hoppers’ skipper Edwin Rodriguez was being held down by the Intimidators’ second baseman Scotty Madsen and Edwin was being popped by one punch after another. Greensboro center fielder Greg Burns jumped in and said, “I’m not going to stand back and let some 50 year-old man(Edwin), my manager, get his head beat in”. Burns nearly had the shirt ripped right off his back.
There were 40 men and one dog out there and the fists were flying.(There was no Dog Fight, Michael Vick, the dog was just running around on the field) At one point, I counted five fights going on at the same time and these weren’t little mini-scuffles. This was the real thing, the Pier 6 Brawl and we saw it all right here in Greensboro.
Mr. Bill on Baseball, Bill Hass, has the game report and blow-by-blow continued descriptions in the www.gsohoppers daily news story below. Again, I have never seen anything like this before in my life and probably will never see it again.
KANNAPOLIS HANDS HOPPERS 3RD STRAIGHT LOSS
By BILL HASS
GREENSBORO, N.C. â€“ The record-setting crowd that came to First Horizon Park saw a little bit of everything Thursday night.
When the dust cleared and the final out was recorded, the Kannapolis Intimidators posted a 4-3 win against the Greensboro Grasshoppers. The count of 6,604 fans brought the season attendance to a record 432,085, surpassing the 2006 total of 427,890.
The Hoppers dropped their third straight game to Kannapolis.
The game was marred by two bench-clearing incidents. In the first inning, Greensboroâ€™s Logan Morrison was hit by a pitch from Kannapolis starter Jose Zazueta. Both benches emptied, but no damage was done, although Hoppers coach Anthony Iapoce was ejected. Both dugouts were given warnings by the umpires.
The same thing happened in the third inning, Logan being hit by Zazueta, and there were several pileups and punches thrown. When order was restored, the umpires cleared the field, sending the teams to the locker rooms, and the game was delayed for an hour while things were sorted out..
Zazueta and Intimidators manager Chris Jones were ejected, by rule, because of the warnings. Several position players on both teams were also ejected, but after South Atlantic League president John Henry Moss was consulted, they were reinstated (they will still have to pay fines).
When the game resumed, the dugouts were empty and the only players on the field were the defense, the hitter, the man on deck and the hitter in the hole. Once an offensive player was out or scored, he headed to the locker room. When the defense came off the field, it did the same.
â€œThatâ€™s the first time Iâ€™ve ever been in that situation,â€ said Hoppers manager Edwin Rodriguez. â€œWe were making history, at least for me.â€
Kannapolis had a 1-0 lead at the time and Greensboroâ€™s James Guerrero
tied the game in the bottom of the fifth with his third home run of the season. Scott Cousins followed with a single and stole second base. After Spike McDougall struck out, Morrison delivered the go-ahead RBI with a single to left field.
Jake Blackwood tacked on another run with his 10th homer of the season in the eighth inning.
But that set the stage for the Intimidatorsâ€™ rally in the ninth against Blake Jones. With one out, Brandon Allen doubled and scored on Archie Gilbertâ€™s single. Lee Cruz then lined a two-run home run over the leaping try of Cousins in right field.
The Hoppers put a runner on base in the bottom of the ninth when Guerrero walked, but Kanekoa Texeira struck out Cousins and McDougall to end the game.
The Hoppers close the home portion of their season Friday at 7 p.m. against Kannapolis in First Horizon Park.