The Will call on Hoppers Saturday

from Will Cornelius Hoppers’ media:


GREENSBORO, NC – The Hoppers let another close game slip away Friday night, dropping their third straight contest to the West Virginia Power 9-3.

The back-and-forth match up had all the makings of a pitching duel, as neither team hit the ball hard in the beginning of the game.

After going hitless in the first, West Virginia jumped on the board in the second when a hit batsman set the table for a bunt single off the bat of Brett Willemburg. Catcher Josue Peley lined a single to right to bring home the Power’s first run of the contest before a ground out to short plated their second run. West Virginia added another run later in the frame on an RBI single by left fielder Quincy Latimore.

Hoppers’ starter Kyle Kaminska (5-5) would return to the mound in the second unphased, sitting down the Power in order to begin a streak of three hitless innings.

The Grasshopper’s bats woke up in the fourth to provide Kaminska with some run support, tagging starter Gabriel Alvarado (4-6) for three runs to knot things up at three.

The rally started with a Ben Lasater infield single and continued after a walk and Justin Jacobs double plated the Hopper’s first two runs. Daniel Pertusati laced a single up the middle to bring around Jeremy Synan before a sacrifice fly by Torre Langley scored Jacobs.

Kaminska responded to the Hoppers’ three-run fourth by pitching past a leadoff walk to sit down the Power three up three down in the next half inning. Kaminska ran into some trouble in the sixth inning however, allowing the Power to tack on one more run after loading the bases and surrendering a sacrifice fly.

The Grasshoppers failed to respond after falling behind one run, finding no answer for Alvarado. Alvarado tossed six innings on the night, allowing just three runs on five hits while coasting after yielding the three early runs.

The West Virginia pitching staff, which entered tonight’s contest in last place in ERA, has kept the Hoppers’ bats at-bay thus far in the series. The Grasshoppers tallied just six hits on the evening, and scored only three runs while fanning nine times as a team.

The Power’s success kept any one Hopper from a standout night at the plate, allowing just one hitter to record a multi-hit performance. Lasater, the lone Hopper to register more than one hit, reached on two infield singles to short.

The offense failed to get the big hit to bust things open, leaving six men on base while going 2-5 with runners in scoring position. Two late West Virginia runs coupled with the mounting offensive frustration helped the Power finish on top, tying the Hopper’s longest losing streak of the season at three.

The Hoppers (37-35) have yet to snag their first win of the second half, and are currently riding a three game losing streak. They will go for their first win of the second half tomorrow, trying to avoid a home sweep at the hands of West Virginia in the conclusion of the four-game series.

First pitch of the Sunday afternoon contest is slated for 4:05 p.m.

Will Cornelius
Media Relations, Intern
Greensboro Grasshoppers Baseball