from Will Cornelius Hoppers’ media:
HOPPERS DOWN CRAWDADS IN RAINY GAME THREE
GREENSBORO, NC â€“ Pitching proved to be the top story again on Tuesday night, as both staffs contributed to the offensive woes by allowing just six total runs between both teams.
Hoppersâ€™ starter Graham Johnson turned in another magnificent performance, working six complete innings to register his fourth win of the season. Johnson scattered six hits over his six innings, and topped off the evening by fanning a career-high six hitters. The tall righty breezed through the Crawdadâ€™s lineup, carving his way through five scoreless frames after allowing a first-inning run.
Hickory pushed their lone run across in the first, after a wet-grass single and wild pitch moved the leadoff man into scoring position. Mike Hollander fought off an inside fastball into right field to plate the Crawdads first run of the contest.
The Grasshoppers answered back in the bottom half, when red-hot Jeremy Synan singled home Jake Smolinski to even the score at one apiece.
Johnson would exit the ballgame after a twenty-minute rain delay, but left the Hoppers in great shape to finish the contest. Wade Korpi and Brandon Todd combined for three innings of scoreless relief to close the door and give the Hoppers their second straight win over Hickory.
Crawdadâ€™s pitchers countered with a fine performance of their own, holding Hoppersâ€™ hitters to eight hits while fanning 14 to record more than half the gamesâ€™ outs via the strikeout.
The Grasshoppers did tag Hickory starter Jake Brigham for two runs in the third after Smolinski added his sixth home run of the year to plate Kevin Mattison and give the Hoppers a two run lead.
They would strike again in the seventh, adding two insurance runs to extend their lead to four.
Smolinski and Mattison were the only highlights of the dayâ€™s offensive lackluster, each turning in two-hit performances to lead all hitters. Smolinskiâ€™s double and home run orchestrated the Hoppersâ€™ only two RBIs, his fifth and sixth of the last eight games.
With the win, the Hoppers (33-31) take the series lead and look to close out the series by taking three of four from Northern Division foe Hickory. The Hoppers will try to keep pace in the Northern Division standings tomorrow, when they host the Crawdads in the series finale.
First pitch of the day game is slated for 12:35 p.m.
Media Relations, Intern
Greensboro Grasshoppers Baseball