Bill Hass on Baseball:Hoppers hit three homers but fall in 15 innings

Hoppers hit three homers but fall in 15 innings
from Bill Hass with Bill on Baseball at

The long ball worked but small ball didn’t for the Hoppers Thursday night.

After four hours and 39 minutes, the game clanked to a halt in NewBridge Bank Park and all Greensboro had to show for it was a 7-5 loss in 15 innings to Kannapolis.

All the Hoppers runs came on homers — a three-run shot by Arturo Rodriguez, his ninth of the season, and two solo blasts by K.J. Woods, boosting his total to 12.

There were other opportunities for the Hoppers but they couldn’t get a clutch hit. John Norwood’s leadoff walk in the first was wasted. In the fourth, Brian Schales doubled to lead off the inning and moved to third on Rony Cabrera’s sacrifice, but was stranded there.

In the bottom of the 11th, Norwood drew a leadoff walk on four pitches but the Hoppers couldn’t execute a sacrifice bunt and the inning fizzled.

The Hoppers used five relief pitchers and three of them were excellent. Sam Alvis retired the side in order in his only inning, Kyle Fischer threw four shutout innings and Jose Velez struck out five of the six hitters he faced. The three allowed only one hit and no walks in their seven combined innings

But Cody Harris, relieving starter Ben Holmes with one out and a man on in the sixth, gave up a two-run homer that tied the game 4-4 and in the seventh surrendered an RBI single that put Kannapolis ahead 5-4.

After the Hoppers shut down Kannapolis for the next seven innings, Ryan Hafner entered in the 15th and gave up three singles, a walk and two runs. He took the loss, his second in two days.

NOTES: There were 32 strikeouts in the game, 17 by Hoppers pitchers and 15 by Kannapolis hurlers … Schales had four hits for Greensboro, including two doubles, and Woods added three hits … Alexander Simon had three hits and four RBIs for the Intimidators. He had a two-run homer and a pair of run-scoring singles, the second one driving in the go-ahead run in the top of the 15th … Jorgan Cavanerio will try to stop the Hoppers’ four-game losing streak in Friday’s game.