Bill Hass on Baseball:Rain cools off Hoppers after 14-3 stretch

Rain cools off Hoppers after 14-3 stretch
from Bill Hass with Bill on Baseball(Greensboro Grasshoppers) at

If it’s Thursday, it must be raining at NewBridge Bank Park.

That was the case again tonight, with rain postponing the Hoppers game against Delmarva. The teams will play a doubleheader (two seven-inning games) on Friday. Gates will open at 4:30 p.m. and the first pitch will be at 5 o’clock.

It’s the third straight “Thirsty Thursday” that rain has messed with. On May 19, the start of the game was delayed by 23 minutes while the field was prepared after an afternoon rain. On May 5, the game was washed out.

Manager Kevin Randel, whose club has been playing excellent baseball lately, wasn’t concerned about the doubleheader.

“It gives us a little bit of a blow,” he said. “Our bullpen will get some rest and we hope we’ll get two solid starts tomorrow.”

Jordan Holloway will start the first game and Chuck Weaver will pitch the second.

The Hoppers will take a 26-27 record into Friday’s games. A few weeks ago, when the team was 12-24, few people would have thought they had a chance at .500. Beginning with a sweep at Kannapolis that started May 16, the Hoppers have won five straight series and gone 14-3 in that stretch.

“We’re riding our starting pitching,” Randel said. “Whoever is on the bump sets the tone.”

It also helps that the lineup has been producing steadily, if not spectacularly. No one has outstanding stats, although Josh Naylor’s 35 RBIs rank third in the South Atlantic League.

“We don’t have anybody red-hot and no one in a big slump,” Randel said. “I kind of like that because you know what you’ve got. We’re getting more baserunners and big knocks with guys in scoring position.”

NOTES: Infielder Giovanny Alfonzo came off the disabled list and catcher Maxx Tissenbaum was released … This odd three-game series is the extent of the homestand … Delmarva and the Hoppers have played 10 times in the first half, with the Shorebirds leading 6-4.