Bill on Baseball:Crawdads pitchers bounce back to squelch Hoppers

from Bill Hass with Bill on Baseball(Greensboro Grasshoppers) at

Crawdads pitchers bounce back to squelch Hoppers

After the Hoppers and Hickory combined for 18 runs, 24 hits and six home runs Tuesday night, Wednesday was a different story. They managed a total of seven runs, 11 hits and three homers.

But one thing didn’t change — all three homers belonged to Hickory, the second straight night the Crawdads have knocked three out of NewBridge Bank Park. They were all solo shots, but that was the difference in Hickory’s 5-2 victory.

There was no magical comeback for the Hoppers this time, after Viosergy Rosa’s two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth won it 10-8 Tuesday. On Wednesday, the Hoppers had just five hits — two singles by Rosa, an RBI double by Cody Keefer, an RBI single by Yeison Hernandez and a single by Yordy Cabrera.

The Crawdads pitching staff regrouped after surrendering 16 hits the night before. Three pitchers held Greensboro in check and never allowed anything close to a big inning.

“We couldn’t get anything going,” said manager Jorge Hernandez. “They did a good job of changing speeds, keeping us off balance and locating their fastballs.”

Four Hoppers pitchers struck out 13 Crawdads and allowed only six hits, but five were for extra bases. The ones that really hurt were the homers — Nomar Mazara off Austin Brice in the third inning and Joe Maloney and Lewis Brinson off Dane Stone in the seventh.

“Stone had been pitching good, but it wasn’t his night,” Hernandez said. “It was 3-2 when he came in and anything could happen but he couldn’t keep us in the game.

“They’ve got some good hitters. You can’t fall behind and have to come in with a fastball because they get fired up about that.”

The teams wind up the series today at 7 p.m. and Mason Hope will start for the Hoppers.