from Will Cornelius Hoppers’ media:
Hot Rods Race Past Hoppers With Six-Run Inning
GREENSBORO, NC — The Grasshoppers returned home Monday evening after dropping three straight road contests in Greenville, but didnâ€™t fair much better at home against Bowling Green, as the visiting Hot Rods rallied for six early runs to eventually down the Hoppers 6-5.
Grasshoppersâ€™ starter Kyle Kaminska (8-8) began the ball game in control, retiring the side in order in the first while working past one base hit in the second to put two quick zeros on the scoreboard.
The Grasshoppersâ€™ righty, who has pitched into at least the fourth inning in all 22 appearances this season, was chased from the contest in the third inning after a six-run inning gave the Hot Rods their first lead of the game.
Kaminska was shaky from the start of the inning, allowing the leadoff man to reach safely before suddenly losing command. After the leadoff man singled, the wheels began to fall off for Kaminska, plunking one hitter and tossing a wild pitch to move a runner into scoring position.
With runners on the corners, Hot Rodâ€™s shortstop Tim Beckham chopped an RBI double down the left field line, breaking open the scoreless game. Kaminska induced a ground ball for the second out of the inning, but hurt his own cause when he hurled the would-be third out down the right field line.
Kaminskaâ€™s throwing error accounted for another Bowling Green run, and started a fielding nightmare, as the Hoppers tabbed another error in the very next at-bat. Two hits and three runs later, the Hoppersâ€™ starter left the game and watched lefty Andrew Loomis come on to close out the inning.
Kaminskaâ€™s counterpart, Hot Rodâ€™s starter Nick Barnese, pitched very effectively over his five innings of work. Unlike Kaminska, Barnese eased through the Hoppers lineup, holding the home team scoreless through four. He surrendered just one hit over the four-inning stretch while fanning four Hoppersâ€™ hitters.
The Hoppers finally figured out Barnese in the fifth inning however, posting a three spot after piecing together two base hits to begin the inning.
Justin Jacobs, who led off with a single, came around to score first for the Hoppers, crossing the plate after a hit batsman, with the bases loaded, forced home the Hoppersâ€™ right fielder.
Ryan Keedy delivered the second RBI of the inning, a ground out to second base that scored catcher Jose Ceballos, who doubled his way into scoring position earlier in the inning.
The Hoppers, after being held in check for the first four frames, suddenly began to put the pieces together. In the sixth inning, Thomas Hickman worked a one out walk and sped around the bases to plate another run when Justin Bass smacked his second triple of the season off the wall in left field.
Bassâ€™s RBI triple drew the Hoppers within two runs of a comeback, and found themselves even closer in the next inning, as Keedy came up big again, blasting his fourth home run of the season to pull the Hoppers within one run.
The Hoppers failed to plate the tying run in the eighth inning, and entered their final at-bat still trailing the Hot Rods by one run.
The right-handed Torre Langley came off the bench to pinch hit in the ninth inning, but couldnâ€™t work his way on base as Bowling Green closer Josh Satow would not be denied his 19th save of the season. The right-hander worked a perfect ninth, striking out two of the three hitters he faced to shut the door on Barneseâ€™s sixth victory of the season.
With the loss, the Grasshoppers (53-66) have now dropped four straight games, and continue their uphill battle toward .500 baseball. The Hoppers will try to end their seasonâ€™s longest losing streak tomorrow when they host the Hot Rods for game two of the current series.
First pitch of Tuesdayâ€™s contest is scheduled for 7:05 p.m., with gates set to open at 6:00 p.m.
Media Relations, Intern
Greensboro Grasshoppers Baseball