Bill Hass on Baseball:Long, soggy night ends with two losses

Long, soggy night ends with two losses
from Bill Hass with Bill on Baseball(Greensboro Grasshoppers) at

August 1 felt like April 1 Friday night and, by the time things clanked to a halt in NewBridge Bank Park, the Hoppers had nothing to show for it.

With the temperature in the 60s and an annoying, persistent misty drizzle — or maybe it was a drizzly mist — Asheville and Greensboro finished one game and played another, hanging around for nearly five hours.

First, they resumed a game suspended by rain after 10 innings Thursday. The Tourists pulled out an 11-10 win with a run in the top of the 13th inning. That took nearly an hour to play and, after a break of almost 40 minutes, the teams played the nine-inning regularly scheduled game. There was far less drama in that one, with the Tourists winning 6-1 in three hours and 25 minutes.

Net result for the Hoppers: 12 innings, one run scored and two losses.

Not that losing to Asheville is a big surprise. The Tourists are 31-11 in the second half of the season, including a 17-1 road record. They lead Savannah, the first-half winner in the Southern Division, by 6 1/2 games. Those teams look destined to meet in the first round of the playoffs.

The Hoppers, of course, are already in the playoffs by virtue of winning the Northern Division in the first half. They are 25-17 in the second half.

Teams need to have a short memory in baseball, but the game that might stick in the Hoppers’ craw is the suspended one, which they had ample opportunities to win. They couldn’t hold a three-run lead in the top of the ninth on Thursday, then couldn’t score with the bases loaded and one out in the 10th.

In the resumption Friday, they loaded the bases in the bottom of the 11th with two outs but Brad Haynal grounded out to end the threat. Greensboro left two more runners on base in the 12th and another in the 13th.

C.J. Robinson began the suspended game and pitched shutout ball in the 11th and 12th. In the 13th, Ryan McMahon delivered a two-out RBI single that put the Tourists on ahead. It was McMahon’s solo home run in the top of the ninth on Thursday that tied the game 10-10. He finished that game with four hits, four runs scored and two RBIs that boosted his league-leading total to 87.

The Hoppers never got much started in the second game. They managed one run off Asheville’s Antonio Senzatela in the second inning on Juan Avila’s RBI double, but Yefri Perez grounded into a double play to end the inning. Senzatela pitched five innings and got the win, improving his record to 13-1.

Jarlin Garcia started for the Hoppers and, after giving up two runs in the first, pitched four shutout innings. But Kyle Fischer, in his first appearance for Greensboro, was tagged for four runs in 2 1/3 innings that pushed the lead to 6-1.

The Hoppers threatened in the sixth by loading the bases with two outs, but Trent Blank came in and struck out Joel Jimenez on three pitches. Blank retired all seven batters he faced. Another bases-loaded threat in the ninth was thwarted when Coco Johnson flied out to end the game.

The teams wind up the series with a 7 p.m. game Saturday. Chris Sadberry, a sixth-round draft pick out of Texas Tech this summer, will start for the Hoppers. The left-hander made a start at Augusta and got no decision, giving up two runs in five innings.