Bill Hass on Baseball:Lakewood tops Hoppers in 11 innings

Lakewood tops Hoppers in 11 innings
by Bill Hass with Bill on Baseball(Greensboro Grasshoppers) at

The game was there for the taking Monday night, but the Hoppers couldn’t nail it down.

Lakewood beat Greensboro 8-6 in 11 innings at NewBridge Bank Park. The Hoppers have lost four straight, seven out of eight and 11 out of 14.

They had a 4-1 lead early and a 6-4 lead late but couldn’t hold either one. The BlueClaws scored twice in the top of the ninth to tie the game 6-6 and won it on a two-run homer by Joel Fisher in the 11th.

Greensboro’s four pitchers were tagged for 17 hits, including three homers. Gabriel Castellanos, in his first start since joining the Hoppers from Batavia, gave up seven hits and three runs in five innings. Kelvin Rivas gave up a run in two innings, Kyle Fischer five hits and two runs in two innings and Sam Alvis two runs in two innings. Fischer had been 7-for-7 in save opportunities, but couldn’t close the door in the ninth inning.

The Hoppers managed nine hits, three by Brian Schales and two each by Justin Twine and Felix Castillo. Schales, Twine, Castillio and K.J. Woods each picked up an RBI and the Hoppers added two more runs on a throwing error by Lakewood pitcher Tyler Viza. They had four runs in, a runner on first and nobody out in the second inning but couldn’t add to their total.

Despite getting the leadoff runner on base in the 9th and 11th innings, the Hoppers never got anything going in either inning. Newcomer Eric Fisher bunted into a double play in the ninth and Schales was picked off first in the 11th.

The teams play again Tuesday at 7 p.m., with Jorgan Cavanerio the scheduled starter for Greensboro.