Hoppers drop a close one to WVA at New Bridge Bank Park…

Backstops Paint Backdrop of Hoppers 4-3 Loss

Bullpen Extends Streak to 22 2/3 Innings; Babe’s Baby Brother to Make First Public Appearance on Friday

Greensboro, N.C. – Thursday’s starting catchers combined to go 6-for-7 from the plate, but West Virginia’s Jonathan Lucroy had one more RBI than the Hoppers’ Jameson Smith; it turned out to be the difference in a 4-3 game that saw the Power snap Greensboro’s three-game win streak.

Smith had a career-high three hits in four at-bats to lead the Hoppers only to be over-powered by Lucroy’s 3-for-3 effort which included two RBIs. Lucroy homered off of Greensboro starter Jay Voss in the third inning to give West Virginia a 2-0 lead and later drove in the game-winning run on a fifth-inning single.

Greensboro managed to plate a seventh-inning run to pull within one, but with two men on and two outs in the ninth inning Matt Dominguez went down swinging to end the game; he ended the night going 2-for-4 from the plate with a walk and a game-ending strikeout.

“The right guy was at the plate and if it happened against I would like to see Dominguez out there,” said Hoppers manager Edwin Rodriguez.

Voss pitched five innings in just his third start of the season. He allowed all four West Virginia runs (three earned) and walked a batter before handing the ball over to the bullpen.

“Our bullpen has been there for us all season,” said Rodriguez. “It seems like anytime we put the ball in their hands in a close situation we pull out the win. But tonight we weren’t able to get the right hits when we needed them even though the bullpen had another great game.”

Combining for the final four innings of the game, Matt Mallory and Stephen Cishek each pitched two innings of no-hit baseball. Their four innings of work extended the pen’s current streak of not allowing an earned run to 22 2/3 consecutive innings.

Hunter Mense pulled the Hoppers within a run in the seventh inning with his third home run of the season; it was his second hit of the contest.

The Hoppers out-hit West Virginia 10-7, but fell to 2-3 on the season against teams that currently have records below .500.

Greensboro and West Virginia will play the second game of their current four-game series Friday beginning at 7:00 p.m. The game will not only see RHP Stuart Alexander (4-4, 4.99) take on RHP Amaury Rivas (3-1, 2.53), but will also be the first public appearance made by Miss Babe Ruth’s new baby brother. Be sure to stop by and see Babe’s brother before anyone else by ordering tickets online at www.gsohoppers.com or by calling the Grasshoppers Box Office at 336-268-2255.

Postgame Quick Stats
Win – R.J. Seidel (2-3); Loss – Jay Voss (0-3); Save – Mike Ramlow (4)
Time – 2:31; Attendance – 7,366
*****from Justin Stottlemyre Hoppers’ media assistant*****