Bill Hass on Greensboro Grasshoppers Baseball:Hoppers start trip with sweep

from Bill Hass, with Bill on Baseball at

Hoppers start trip with sweep

After sweeping three games from Lexington, the Hoppers head to Augusta for the second leg of their road trip. They will play four games against the GreenJackets, take a day off and then return for their final home stand of the regular season Aug. 28-30.

The pitching in Lexington was outstanding. In 29 innings (there was an 11-inning game) the Hoppers held the Legends to three runs and 13 hits while recording 32 strikeouts and 10 walks.

With the innings count being monitored on several starters, the Hoppers needed someone to go deep into a game and they got that from Jake Esch. The former Georgia Tech right-hander pitched seven innings of one-hit ball with eight strikeouts on Monday. James Nygren finished the last two innings, allowing an unearned run.

Jose Urena threw six innings Tuesday, allowing four hits and one run and striking out six. Kevin Cravey, Greg Nappo and Nick Wittgren combined for the next five innings, allowing no runs and one hit. Wittgren picked up his first save since joining the team.

Josh Hodges started Wednesday and pitched five scoreless innings, giving up no runs and four hits. Charlie Lowell followed with three innings, allowing a run and striking out five, and Brad Mincey pitched the ninth and struck out two.

Lowell and Mincey have both been activated from the Temporary Inactive List. Frankie Reed and Sean Donatello were returned to Jamestown to clear roster space.

Austin Brice is the scheduled starter tonight, followed by Andrew Heaney, Esch and Urena.

For the offense, Ryan Goetz and Matt Smith, continued their hot streaks. Goetz went 5-13 in Lexington and is now 14-23 in his last five games. Smith was 6-11 with two homers and five RBIs. In his last five games Smith is 11-20 with four homers, a triple and 11 RBIs.

*****Thanks to Bill for his coverage this season….*****