Bill Hass on Baseball:One inning extended, another short-circuited

Bill Hass on Baseball from

One inning extended, another short-circuited

Some days you just have to file things under the heading “that’s baseball.”

There were two such moments for the Greensboro Grasshoppers during Sunday’s 8-3 loss to the Lakewood BlueClaws.

The first came in the top of the fifth inning. The Hoppers had forged a 2-1 lead but the Claws loaded the bases with two outs. Brian Pointer of Lakewood took a mighty cut at a pitch from Mason Hope of the Hoppers. He topped the ball and it rolled slowly toward third base. Matt Juengel, playing back with the bases loaded, broke in and grabbed the ball but his throw really had no chance to get the runner. Pointer had an infield single and a run scored.

With the inning extended, Arthur Charles belted a double that cleared the bases. Mitch Walding followed with an RBI single and suddenly a total of five runs had scored and Lakewood had control of the game, 7-2.

“Hope had a tough break,” said Hoppers manager Jorge Hernandez. “It was a 3-and-2 count and the runners were going and (Pointer) hit a dribbler.”

The Claws added another run to make it 8-2. The Hoppers mounted a rally in the bottom of the seventh, scoring one run, and had runners on second and third with no one out. But Sharif Othman popped out and Yeison Hernandez struck out. Alfredo Lopez hit a line drive that looked like it would fall into left field and drive in two runs — but Lakewood shortstop Roman Quinn leaped high and stabbed it to retire the side.

One dribbler that extended an inning for Lakewood, one line drive that was snared and short-circuited another inning for Greensboro.

“We couldn’t get the clutch hits when we needed them,” Hernandez said. “Then that ball was was caught, that could have changed the momentum back to us.”

In other words, that’s baseball.

The bright spots for Greensboro were a solo home run by Yordy Cabrera and three shutout innings of relief by Miguel Fermin. Cameron Flynn had two hits and an RBI.The Hoppers fell to 7-4 on the season while Lakewood won for just the second time in 11 games.

Still, the Hoppers took the series 3-1. They open a 3-game set with Savannah Monday night. Scott Lyman will pitch the opener for Greensboro.