The will Call from Thursday: Hoppers need to hit it where the Suns don’t shine

from Will Cornelius Hoppers’ media:


GREENSBORO, NC—The Hagerstown Suns sent the Grasshopper’s Graham Johnson (5-3) a rude awakening Friday evening, tagging the starter for a seven-run third to send Johnson packing after two complete innings of work.

Hagerstown put together the complete package in their contest this evening, pounding out eight runs on 12 hits and using another quality start from Marcos Frias (5-2) to down the Hoppers in game-two action by score of 8-1.

Johnson had issues early, when he allowed two runners to reach in the first inning, but pitched out of the jam with an infield fly and two lineouts to the outfield. He allowed a lead off walk in the second frame, but bounced off the mound to field a bunt for the first out, while striking out one and getting a fly for the third out.

He wouldn’t fair as well after toeing the rubber in the third inning however, as the Suns jumped on Johnson quickly, seeing 12 hitters go to the plate to combine for a seven runs in the inning.

The inning began with a dark spot when Steve Lombardozzi reached on a fielding error and moved up to second on Derek Norris’ walk. A three-run homer followed the free pass, bringing around both runners to give the Suns an early three-run lead.

But the inning was far from over, seeing another walk preface the Suns’ second homer of the inning, a Charlie Fermaint dinger to left field to extend the lead to five runs. Another defensive miscue put another runner on first, who came around to score after shortstop Nick Arata sliced a ball into the right field corner for a bases-clearing triple.

Reliever Bryan Evans finally worked out of the inning after a groundout to short brought home the final run and a lineout to right fielder Isaac Galloway registered the third and final out of the inning.

Evans not only cleaned up the third inning mess, but also added four scoreless frames to his credit, and finished his night scattering four hits and striking out two. Lefty Andrew Loomis and closer Pete Andrelczyk each added an inning of relief in the contest, keeping Hagerstown at eight runs in the contest.

The Hagerstown staff proved very effective against the Hoppers offense in the ballgame, paced by their starter Frias. He looked impressive early in the contest, tossing five scoreless innings to begin the game. The Hoppers tallied their only run of the game off Frias in the sixth, but blanked against the Suns bullpen to ultimately surrender to the Suns’ seven run lead.

The Hoppers’ one-run rally in the sixth began when Ben Lasater reached on a fielding error by the Hagerstown second basemen. After a pop up in the infield, Kyle Skipworth stepped to the plate and took the offering to right field for his 11th double of the season, bringing Lasater around to score at the same time.

Skipworth joined Jake Smolinski as the only Hoppers with multiple hits, and grabbed the Hoppers only RBI in the offensive struggle. Kevin Mattison added a double of his own, but failed to tally in more base knocks as the Hoppers gathered just seven total hits as a team.

With their loss in game two, the Hoppers (41-43) are now even in their series with the Hagerstown Suns, and look to improve their second-half record with a win in tomorrow’s game three.

The Hoppers will start the third game at 7:05 p.m. on Cow Appreciation Night at NewBridge Bank Park, with a fireworks show to immediately follow the contest.

Will Cornelius
Media Relations, Intern
Greensboro Grasshoppers Baseball


  1. I heard the broadcast on the Guilford County Sports Connection last night. “Movin’ On Up” is the Jefferson’s theme song, not Good times, although I believe Ja’net’s DuBois (Willona on Good Times) sang both. These are important distinctions for any baseball play-by-play man.

    I also heard that commercial. You people will be hearing from my attorneys.

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