Rain puts Hoppers’ streak on hold
from Bill Hass with Bill on Baseball(Greensboro Grasshoppers) at www.gsohoppers.com
The Hoppers will have to wait until tonight to try to extend their winning streak to nine games — or even 10.
Friday’s game against Kannapolis was suspended by a rip-snorter of a storm that began with massive bolts of lightning followed by a deluge that left whitewater rivers running through the bullpen past the dugouts.
Play will resume Saturday at 5 p.m., with the suspended game played to the full nine innings. It will be followed by a 7-inning game.
When play starts, it will be the bottom of the third inning with no outs and the Hoppers on top 2-0. That lead came courtesy of a two-run homer by Kyle Barrett a few seconds before umpires waved the players off the field.
It was Barrett’s second homer in as many nights — in fact, his second in as many at-bats. His first homer of the season, and his career, came Thursday in the eighth inning and gave the Hoppers a 3-2 lead in a game they went on to win 5-2. Friday’s homer was hit almost to the same spot over the right-field fence, a couple of feet to the left. It came after Casey Soltis doubled.
“In early work today, our hitting coach (Rigoberto Silverio) to trust my swing,” Barrett said. “I was looking for an outside pitch and just reacted to it. I’ve never hit consecutive home runs in my life. It’s an awesome feeling, but that’s not the kind of hitter I am.”
Justin Jacome threw three shutout innings before the rain and Ben Meyer will head to the mound when the game resumes. Cody Poteet will start the second game.
The Hoppers have won eight straight for the second time this season, tied for their third-longest streak ever Three teams have won nine in a row and the record is 10 straight set in 2014.
The team will be without first baseman Josh Naylor, who heads out to San Diego for the Futures Game on Sunday, and will miss two games. Manager Kevin Randel said utility man Gio Alfonzo will likely replace Naylor in the lineup.