Backstops Paint Backdrop of Hoppers 4-3 Loss
Bullpen Extends Streak to 22 2/3 Innings; Babeâ€™s Baby Brother to Make First Public Appearance on Friday
Greensboro, N.C. â€“ Thursdayâ€™s starting catchers combined to go 6-for-7 from the plate, but West Virginiaâ€™s Jonathan Lucroy had one more RBI than the Hoppersâ€™ Jameson Smith; it turned out to be the difference in a 4-3 game that saw the Power snap Greensboroâ€™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 Lucroyâ€™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.
â€œThe right guy was at the plate and if it happened against I would like to see Dominguez out there,â€ 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.
â€œOur bullpen has been there for us all season,â€ said Rodriguez. â€œIt seems like anytime we put the ball in their hands in a close situation we pull out the win. But tonight we werenâ€™t able to get the right hits when we needed them even though the bullpen had another great game.â€
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 penâ€™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 Ruthâ€™s new baby brother. Be sure to stop by and see Babeâ€™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 â€“ R.J. Seidel (2-3); Loss â€“ Jay Voss (0-3); Save â€“ Mike Ramlow (4)
Time â€“ 2:31; Attendance â€“ 7,366
*****from Justin Stottlemyre Hoppers’ media assistant*****