Hoppers Walk Off With Win

Dominguez, Stanton Combined for Four Home Runs, Nine RBIs

GREENSBORO – It’s not been kept a secret by anyone that Matt Dominguez and Mike Stanton are two of the highest touted prospects in the Florida Marlins’ minor league system. Everyone in attendance, including the visiting Lexington Legends, should not have been surprised by their performances.

Sunday, despite being out of playoff contention and the season nearing end, the two combined for six runs, seven hits, including four home runs, and nine RBIs to lead Greensboro to a 10-9 come-from-behind victory over Lexington.

Lexington scored the game’s first run in the top of the first, but Dominguez quickly put the Hoppers on top with a three-run blast in the home half of the inning.

The Legends regained the lead in the second stanza before Greensboro evened the score at four in the third. Lexington stole the lead again in the fourth and held off numerous comeback battles by the Hoppers including a two-run shot by Dominguez in the fifth inning to make it 7-6 and a two-run shot by Stanton in the seventh that left Greensboro still trailing by a single run, 9-8.

Emilio Ontiveros led off the last frame with a single and with the home team trailing by one Stanton hit his second home run of the night to give Greensboro the victory in walk-off fashion.

“I had faced that particular pitcher before and he had gotten the better of me in those at-bats,” Stanton said of his ninth-inning plate appearance against Lexington’s Fernando Abad. “He threw a first-pitch fastball for a strike and I knew, based on previous meetings, that he had never thrown the same pitch to me twice.”

Stanton was right.

Abad left a 0-1 changeup over the plate and South Atlantic League home run king drove his 38th of the season over the left field wall.

But the Hoppers had their own struggles on the mound.

Starter Jose Rosario lasted just two innings atop the hill before Arquimedes Caminero and Kris Harvey gave up five runs on just three hits in four-plus innings of work. Harvey walked three of the seven batters he faced and left with the bases loaded and no outs.

Fortunately for Greensboro, the Hoppers were able to work out their pitching kinks before the game got out of hand.

Peter Andrelczyk and A.J. Battisto combined to toss the final three innings and neither allowed a run as the two surrendered just three hits and struck out four. Battisto picked up the win for his efforts and improved to 8-1.

Dominguez finished his 4-for-4 night at the plate with a seventh-inning single; leaving him a triple shy of the cycle. Ninth-inning heroes Ontiveros and Stanton each had three hits Sunday; catcher Tyler Belcher chipped in with pair of singles.

“I’m probably going to bet that I’ll never do that,” Dominguez said in reference to hitting for the cycle while joking around with the media after the game. “I’m don’t have the speed to get that triple.”

Postgame Quick Stats
Win – A.J. Battisto (8-1); Loss – Fernando Abad (2-7); Save – None
Time – 2:55; Attendance – 6,558
*****from Justin Stottlemyre Hoppers’ media assistant*****

+++++I am starting to repeat myself, but this was one of the best finishes that I have seen in the history of Greensboro baseball. From personal bests it ranks right up there with walk-off home runs by Joe Mazzucca, JT Resko, Matt Dominguez and now Big Mike Stanton.+++++