Former First-Round Selection Delivers First Grand Slam
GREENSBORO â€“ One swing of the bat can generally change the momentum of the game; Wednesdayâ€™s one swing came from former first-round draft pick Matt Dominguez in the shape of a two-out, eighth-inning grand slam to pull the Hoppers out of a three-run hole and propel Greensboro to its first home victory against West Virginia this season, 8-7.
Greensboro grabbed a 1-0 lead after the first inning thanks to a solo home run by Bryan Petersen, but the Hoppers allowed the Power to pull even in the second inning before West Virginia took control with six more runs in innings four through seven.
Petersenâ€™s blast was his 12th of the season and extended his current home hitting streak to a league-leading 16 games.
The Hoppers added three in the fifth inning to pull within one, but West Virginia scored single runs in each of the next to innings to extend its lead to three.
West Virginia struck out the South Atlantic Leagueâ€™s home run leader Mike Stanton with one out and the bases loaded to bring Dominguez to the plate.
Dominguez delivered with his first career grand slam to put the Hoppers up by the final score of 8-7.
â€œI honestly canâ€™t remember the last time Iâ€™ve come through with anything like that,â€ said Dominguez following his career-high, four RBI performance. â€œI was just thinking I needed to get a good pitch and hit it hard; as soon as I made contact I knew it was gone.â€
Brett Durand lasted five innings in his start and gave up six of West Virginiaâ€™s seven runs on nine hits. He was relieved by Steven Cishek, A.J. Battisto and Corey Madden. The three combined to pitch the final four frames while allowing just one run on four hits. Battisto earned his fifth win of the season while Madden was credited with his first save.
Greensboro returns to action Thursday with a 7:00 p.m. meeting against the Kannapolis Intimidators. LHP Jay Voss (2-3, 4.22) is slated to pitch for the Hoppers; the Intimidators are expected to counter with RHP Miguel Socolovich (1-3, 5.90)
Postgame Quick Stats
Win â€“ A.J. Battisto (5-0); Loss â€“ Corey Frerichs (3-5); Save â€“ Corey Madden (1)
Time â€“ 2:40; Attendance â€“ 5,444
*****from Justin Stottlemyre Hoppers’ media assistant*****