Bill Hass on Baseball:Hoppers squander opportunities

Hoppers squander opportunities
from Bill Hass with Bill on Baseball(Greensboro Grasshoppers) at

The opportunities were there for the Hoppers Friday night but they couldn’t convert enough of them and wound up losing 6-4 to Delmarva.

Greensboro banged out 14 hits, including at least one by every batter in the lineup. But the Hoppers left 10 men on base and were just 4-for-15 with runners in scoring position.

“Our situational hitting wasn’t very good,” said manager Kevin Randel.

The Hoppers had the ideal situation in the ninth inning when Rony Cabrera led off with an infield single, his third hit of the game. Greensboro’s heavy hitters were up next, but Arturo Rodriguez struck out, K.J. Woods grounded out and Austen Smith struck out to end the game.

Mason Davis had a home run and Rodriguez, Brian Schales and Zach Sullivan added RBIs.

On the pitching end, Tyler Kolek battled through a difficult first inning that lasted 15 minutes in which he gave up two runs. He settled down and threw shutout ball the next four innings as the Hoppers took a 3-2 lead.

Kolek came out for the top of the sixth inning, the longest stint of his young career, but gave up a leadoff walk and then a single.

“He earned the right to go back out there,” said pitching coach Jeremy Powell. “But the trouble started with walking the leadoff guy.”

James Buckelew relieved Kolek and the Shorebirds parlayed an infield hit, a four-pitch walk, another infield hit and an RBI groundout to push across three runs and take the lead for good.

“Just a tough-luck inning,” Powell said. “A lot of soft contact and tough plays. I thought (Buckelew) threw the ball fine, with the walk the only blemish.”

Kolek was charged with the loss, his second against three wins.

NOTES: Newcomer Jorgan Cavanerio will start tonight’s game. The 20-year-old right-hander made one start on the road, pitching four innings and allowing two hits and no runs against Rome. Cavanerio made 14 starts at Batavia last summer, going 4-6 with a 4.56 ERA. He began this season in extended spring training after an arm injury … Scott Squier moved to the bullpen to make room for Cavanerio in the rotation … Relief pitcher Jose Arias was released to make room on the roster … Infielder Aaron Blanton (wrist) was placed on the Disabled List and catcher Felix Castillo activated … Jamestown resident Tommy Caudle is filling in all this series for umpire Kyle Wallace, recovering from a concussion. Caudle, a veteran high school and college umpire, has subbed many times over the years in the South Atlantic League.