Mader’s strong effort results in no decision
from Bill Hass with Bill on Baseball(Greensboro Grasshoppers) at www.gsohoppers.com
Another solid pitching performance went for naught for the Hoppers Wednesday night.
Michael Mader threw a solid six innings, throwing shutout ball for the first five before allowing a run in the top of the sixth. He gave up three hits and two walks while striking out four.
“Mader pitched really well,” said pitching coach Jeremy Powell. “I would have liked to have seen him go deeper in this game, but he got into some counts that ran up his pitch count.”
When Mader left after throwing 80 piches, the Hoppers had a 2-1 lead, thanks to a solo homer by John Norwood in the third inning and an RBI double by newcomer Korey Dunbar in the sixth.
But the Hoppers bullpen couldn’t hold it. Ryan Hafner, who became the 26th different pitcher to appear for Greensboro this season, gave up two runs in the top of the seventh when he surrendered two hits, hit a batter, threw a wild pitch and issued a walk before James Buckelew got the final out.
The Hoppers were tagged for three more runs in the ninth that put the game out of reach at 6-2.
In the last game of the most recent road trip, Tyler Kolek pitched six innings of one-hit, shutout ball and left with the lead, but the bullpen didn’t hold that one, either.
Besides Mader’s pitching and Norwood’s homer, the bright spot for Greensboro was Dunbar’s first game. Drafted in the 20th round out of North Carolina this summer, Dunbar played 17 games at Batavia, hitting .317 with five RBIs. A catcher by trade, he was the DH Wednesday and had a single and a double. He was also robbed of extra bases by Kannapolis center fielder Louie Lechich, who sprinted to his left and laid out for a diving catch near the warning track.
“It was a nice debut,” said manager Kevin Randel. “Three hard-hit balls and the center fielder made a nice play.”
NOTES: Norwood’s homer was his 12th, one behind team leader Austen Smith … Mason Robbins had four hits, drove in three runs and scored twice for Kannapolis … K.J. Woods doubled and scored on Dunbar’s double, but was called out on strikes three times … Ben Holmes is the scheduled starter for Thursday’s 7 o’clock game … In the revolving door that’s the Hoppers roster, pitcher Luis Castillo was promoted to Jupiter and Jorgan Cavanerio returned from the Hammerheads to Greensboro (picking up a win last week) … Reliever Nick Fuller joined Jupiter for at least the time being to help the strained bullpen there … Infielder Taylor Munden was sent back to Batavia for regular playing time … Reliever Kyle Keller also went to Batavia.