Alexander, Ontiveros Deliver Career Performances in Series Opener
Pitching Staff Allows Just One Earned in Hoppersâ€™ 7-5 Victory
GREENSBORO â€“ Greensboroâ€™s starting pitchers have a storied history of letting games get out of hand this season. Lately theyâ€™ve been working on changing that perception and Mondayâ€™s seven-inning performance by Stuart Alexander went a long way in doing just that as the Hoppers improved to 35-29 with a 7-5 victory over the visiting Lexington Legends.
Alexander entered the game with a 0-3 record and a 4.63 ERA in his last five home appearances, but showed no signs of slumping on the mound for Greensboro as he allowed just one run on six hits in seven complete innings of work.
The lone run credited to Alexanderâ€™s line was allowed in his seventh inning of work as he gave up a lead-off triple to Collin DeLome which was followed by a Jonathan Fixler RBI single.
Alexander was aided by six Greensboro runs before he left the hill. The Hoppers plated two in the second and three in the third before adding another in the seventh.
Emilio Ontiveros picked up two of his career-high, three RBI in the second inning with a two-out double. He also tacked on Greensboroâ€™s final run in the eighth inning with his second home run of the season.
Ontiverosâ€™ home run extended the Hoppersâ€™ home run streak to 15 games; he finished the night with a season-best, three hits in four official at-bats.
Center-fielder Bryan Petersen again wasted little time in keeping his hitting streak alive. The Northridge, Calif., native singled to right field in the first inning to extend his hitting streak to 17 games. Petersenâ€™s current 17-game hit streak is the longest active streak in the South Atlantic League and includes part of a league-leading 13-game home hitting streak.
Petersen was one of six Greensboro batters to finish the game with two-or-more hits. Ontiveros and Tom Hickman led the way with three each and Petersen, Ryan Curry, Matt Dominguez and Danny Garcia each collected two.
The hitting performance was not the only exception part of Mondayâ€™s win though as the Hickman and Petersen recorded assists from the outfield. Petersenâ€™s outfield assist was part of a double play that started with Steve Brown flying out to center and ended with the righty throwing out Jonathan Fixler at home plate.
Greensboroâ€™s win pulled the Hoppers within three games of Northern Division-leading Lake County as the Captainsâ€™ home game was suspended in the bottom of the fifth inning with Delmarva leading 5-3. The Hoppers will enter Tuesdayâ€™s game trailing Delmarva and Lakewood by just a half a game.
Game two of Greensboroâ€™s current three-game series is slated to begin at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday. The Hoppers are scheduled to send RHP Kyle Kaminska (3-2, 5.64) to the mound while the Legends are expected to counter with LHP Tommy Vessella (1-1, 3.38).
NOTES: Greensboroâ€™s victory puts them six games above .500 with six games remaining in the first half. The Hoppers are guaranteed to finish the first half with at least a .500 record.
Postgame Quick Stats:
Win â€“ Stuart Alexander (6-5); Loss â€“ Jeff Icenogle (1-5); Save â€“ Garrett Parcell (16)
Time â€“ 2:35; Attendance â€“ 4,466
*****from Justin Stottlemyre Hoppers’ media assistant*****