Bill on Baseball:Intimidators complete series sweep

Bill Hass with Bill on Baseball(Greensboro Grasshoppers) at www.gsohoppers.comIntimidators complete series sweep….

The collective batting slump continued for the Hoppers Monday night.

Kannapolis completed a four-game sweep with a 6-3 victory in NewBridge Bank Park. The home stand continues with three games against Delmarva, starting Tuesday night. Perhaps a different opponent will be just what the Hoppers need.

“I’m glad Kannapolis is getting out of town,” said manager Jorge Hernandez. “We need to see some new faces and some new uniforms because nothing is going right for us now.”

The Hoppers scored just eight runs in the series and have not driven in a runner with a base hit since Friday night. They were 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position Monday.

In this game, they wasted a pair of doubles by Cameron Flynn. He led off the bottom of the first with one and was eventually stranded at third base. In the third inning he had a two-out double and moved to second on a wild pitch, but was left there when Blake Barber struck out.

Down 3-0, the Hoppers loaded the bases with three walks to start the fourth inning. They did score twice, but both runs came on groundouts instead of base hits. They added a third run to tie the game in the fifth when Rehinder Cordova doubled, moved to third on a groundout and scored on a wild pitch.

But after scratching out that run, starter Austin Brice was tagged for three runs in the top of the sixth to surrender the lead.

“We’ve got to keep the momentum on our side there,” Hernandez said.

One final effort was thwarted in the seventh. After the Hoppers loaded the bases with one out, Barber hit into a double play.

It was the kind of game that seemed ripe for the taking. Kannapolis starter Francellis Montas came in with a 3-10 record and a 5.57 ERA. He got through five innings, enough to earn the win. Brian Bollinger followed with three shutout innings and Stew Brase picked up the save.

The win gave Kannapolis 10 wins in 15 games against the Hoppers this season.

“The teams we should be beating, we’re not beating,” Hernandez said. “It’s been that way all year.”