Bill Hass on Baseball:Grand slam beats Hoppers in 12th

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

Grand slam beats Hoppers in 12th

One thing has been consistent about the games between the Hoppers and West Virginia this season — they’ve all been close.

Things went West Virginia’s way Friday night at NewBridge Bank Park, with the Power winning it in 12 innings, 6-2. JaCoby Jones belted a grand slam home run off Miguel del Pozo to account for the margin of victory.

The previous five games between the teams had been decided by a total of six runs, with the Hoppers winning four of them.

Ryan Newell, coming off an effort of six hitless innings at Rome, gave the team seven strong innings, allowing five hits and one unearned run. He extended his hitless streak to 8 2/3 innings before being touched for an RBI single by Condon Myles in the top of the third.

“He worked out of some jams and finished strong,” said pitching coach Jeremy Powell. “A starter should get deep into a game and give his team a chance to win, and he did.”

Newell left with a 2-1 lead but the Power tied things in the eighth against reliever Ramon del Orbe when Edwin Espinal’s single scored Reese McGuire, who had doubled. Del Orbe pitched a scoreless ninth, with the help of a nice double play started by second baseman Justin Bohn, who fielded a deflection off the pitcher’s glove, stepped on second and fired to first.

Del Pozo was sharp in the 10th and 11th innings, striking out four batters. But in the 12th, he loaded the bases on two singles and a walk and Jones got one over the fence in left center for his seventh homer of the season.

“It was a fastball that caught too much of the plate,” Powell said. “It wasn’t a terrible pitch, but (Jones) got just enough of it to hit it out.”

Offensively, Felix Munoz had three hits but no one else had more than one. Bohn had an RBI in the third inning and Kentrell Dewitt added one in the sixth. Carlos Lopez stretched his hitting streak to 12 games with a two-out single in the sixth.

Greensboro threatened in the bottom of the ninth. J.T. Riddle singled and was moved to second on a sacrifice by Sharif Othman. Cody Keefer took a called third strike for the second out. Yefri Perez hit a grounder that was bobbled by shortstop Chris Diaz. Instead of trying to throw out the speedy Perez at first, Diaz recovered and threw home in plenty of time to get Riddle.

“With two outs, you send the guy home,” said manager David Berg, who coaches third base. “(Diaz) wasn’t going to get Perez so he made a smart play, a heads-up play.”

NOTES: Perez threw out a runner at third base from center field in the fourth inning and Lopez tracked down a deep fly ball in the left field corner in the eighth … The Power and Hoppers play again tonight at 7 o’clock. Domingo German will start for Greensboro … Two pitchers on the disabled list, James Wooster (back) and Joel Effertz (shoulder), will be sent to the Marlins’ complex in Jupiter to rehab their injuries. Wooster said an MRI revealed a bulging disc and it should take about four weeks to heal.