from Will Cornelius Hoppers’ media:
GREENSBORO, NC â€“ The Grasshoppers, who faced an early two-run deficit, survived a one hour rain delay to fight back from the two-run hole and eventually took game three from the Bowling Green Hot Rods, 7-4.
Graham Johnson started the contest for the Hoppers, but found himself in hot water early in his outing. The Hoppersâ€™ righty issued a walk to the second hitter of the ballgame before Kyeong Kang blasted a two-out, two-run homer to jump on the Hoppers early.
Johnson bounced back nicely in the next inning, retiring the side in order to stall the streaky Hot Rods offense.
Johnson didnâ€™t run back out after the rain delay, and ended his day after allowing two runs on two hits. The offense managed one run of support for their starter, plating a single run in the home half of the second inning to draw the home team back within one.
Clinging to the one-run lead, pitching stole the show after the second inning. Bryan Evans came on in relief of Johnson, and tossed four scoreless innings to keep the home team in the contest.
Evans, who matched his season-high in innings pitched, allowed just two hits over his four spectacular innings of relief, and worked around three walks by recording two strikeouts for the evening.
The Hoppersâ€™ offense matched the efforts of their reliever in the sixth inning, where they tied the ballgame after Ryan Keedy connected with a double off the wall in right field to bring home Paul Gran.
The Hoppers added another run in their following at-bat as well, using a leadoff walk by Emilio Ontiveros as a catalyst for the go ahead run. Gran, who ended up with a three-hit night, doubled home Ontiveros to give the Hoppers their first lead of the Wednesday evening contest.
Arquimedes Caminero, the next reliever in line for the Hoppers, fanned all three batters he faced in the seventh inning to keep the Hoppersâ€™ one-run lead in tact. But it was the Hot Rods who would answer the call offensively in the following inning, tagging the hard throwing righty for two runs, including Kangâ€™s second home run of the night, a solo shot to left field.
Facing a one-run deficit for the second time in the game, the Hoppers went to work in the bottom half of the inning, and managed four runs to grab their second lead of the back-and-forth match up.
Thomas Hickman, who turned in a 3-3 day at the plate, began the eighth-inning rally with a single, and moved up to second after Justin Bass was hit by a pitch. Pinch hitter Robert Taylor came through with a clutch RBI in the next at-bat, and moved into scoring position after an error in the middle infield.
Isaac Galloway really broke things open with his two-run triple in the ensuring at-bat, and even scored a run of his own after Gran delivered yet again, this time an RBI double to give the Hoppers a much-needed insurance run.
Jared Yecker (3-3), who closed out the eighth inning, stayed on for the ninth, retired all three hitters in order to pick up the win for the Hoppers, their second straight victory over the visiting Hot Rods.
The Hoppers (55-66) have now won two straight for just the fourth time since the All-Star break, and look to make it three in a row when they continue their series with Bowling Green. A win in the finale would give the Grasshoppers the series win, a feat they have accomplished just once since beginning the second half.
Media Relations, Intern
Greensboro Grasshoppers Baseball