Hickman Hits Game-Winning Blast to Lead Off 12th Inning
GREENSBORO â€“ It took a couple of extra innings Monday, but it was all worth it when Tom Hickman hit the Hoppersâ€™ second-straight walk-off home run to give Greensboro the 7-6 victory in front of a season-high 10,103 fan.
Greensboro tied the game in the bottom of the ninth to push it to extra frames and used six solid combined innings of work from Jay Voss, A.J. Battisto and Steven Cishek to complete the comeback.
The Hoppers fell behind in the first when Lexington plated a single run, but Mike Stanton gave Greensboro its first lead with his league-leading 39th home run of the season. Stanton finished his 2008 campaign as the Hoppersâ€™ single-season leader in long balls and ended the year one short of the all-time South Atlantic League record.
Ozzie Martinez was the only Hopper to collect more than one hit in the contest, but the story of the game, aside from Hickmanâ€™s walk-off home run, was Stantonâ€™s 1-for-1 performance and the four walks he drew from the Legendsâ€™ pitching staff.
â€œItâ€™s a little frustrating sometimes when you donâ€™t get the chances to hit the ball,â€ Stanton said immediately following Mondayâ€™s victory. â€œBut on the other hand you canâ€™t be selfish; you have to realize that whether you get a hit or draw a walk youâ€™re on base and thatâ€™s what youâ€™re trying to do anyway.â€
Martinez, along with Matt Dominguez finished the season leading the Hoppersâ€™ active roster with their .296 batting averages; Bryan Petersen finished the Greensboro portion of his season with a .301 clip.
Lexington out-hit the Hoppers 14-7 and scored five of its six runs in innings five through seven before the trio of Greensboro pitchers slammed the door and provided the home team with an extra spark en route to the season-ending victory.
The season-high 10,103 fans brought Greensboroâ€™s season total to a South Atlantic League-leading 440,787.
Postgame Quick Stats
Win â€“ Steven Cishek (3-5); Loss â€“ Chris Ladeuth (6-11); Save â€“ None
Time â€“ 3:36; Attendance â€“ 10,103
*****from Justin Stottlemyre Hoppers’ media assistant*****