The Will call on Monday’s Hoppers-Sand Gnats showdown at NBBP

from Will Cornelius Hoppers’ media:

Sand Gnats†Offense Paces Win In Game Two

GREENSBORO, NC – After Monday’s rain delayed the Grasshoppers†start nearly an hour and a half, game two against Savannah finally began. The delay didnâ€t fair well for the Hoppers, as they fell for the fourth time during the current home stand.

The Grasshoppers†offense, which produced 14 hits a night ago, got off to a slow start against Savannah in game two. Without the luxury of sturdy offensive support, starter Graham Johnson (5-5) struggled during his outing, eventually taking the loss after the Sand Gnats defeated the Hoppers 13-7.

Savannah notched 15 hits on the day, six of which came off Johnson, including a solo blast in the top of the first inning to give the Sand Gnats both an early lead and momentum.

The Grasshoppers responded in the next inning with two runs of their own, using two doubles and a wild pitch to take a slight one-run lead.

But the Sand Gnats didnâ€t allow the lead to stick long, as the visiting club quickly added two runs to their total in the top half of the next inning to retake a one-run lead. This time, it was three base hits and a walk, not the long ball that helped bring across the two Sand Gnat runs, which helped them break the tie ball game.

The Grasshoppers would once again respond, as Ryan Keedy reached on a single early in the inning, but had his base hit erased when Kyle Skipworth made him the front end of an attempted double play. With Skipworth on first base with a fielderâ€s choice, Paul Gran singled to advance the catcher to the next station before he eventually came around to score on an error by the third baseman.

Although Savannah surrendered the tying run in the previous inning, they put on a hitting display in the seventh, where they belted two homers off Johnson to bring his day to a close. Jared Yecker came on to record the final out of the inning, but was hit for three additional runs after allowing three straight singles to begin his outing.

The seven-run inning dampened the spirit of the Grasshoppers, who were blanked in the ensuing at-bat, taking their seven-run deficit into the sixth inning of play.

In the sixth however, the Sand Gnats broke for one more run, hitting their fourth and final home run of the day, a deep blast to right field off the bat of Raul Reyes.

The Hoppers would push three across in their next at-bat, as Paul Gran lined a three-run homer over the wall in left field, but entered the following inning still trailing by five runs.

Each team would a tally a run in the seventh as well, but the time for exchanging runs with Savannah was running thin. The Sand Gnats, still clinging to their five-run lead, added one insurance run in the ninth, and held the Hoppers†in check during the home half to pick up the win in game two of the series.

With the loss, the Hoppers (46-54) are back even in the current series and appear to still have trouble stringing wins together, having won two straight games only once in the second half. They will try to add another win their record tomorrow when they host the Sand Gnats in game three action, sending their ace Johnny Dorn to the hill.

First pitch of the Tuesday contest is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.

Will Cornelius
Media Relations, Intern
Greensboro Grasshoppers Baseball