Bill Hass on Baseball:Hoppers bid goodbye to NewBridge with loss

Hoppers bid goodbye to NewBridge with loss
from Bill Hass with Bill on Baseball(Greensboro Grasshoppers) at

The NewBridge Bank Park era ended with a single bang and nothing else for the Hoppers Thursday night.

Shortstop J.J. Gould got the team’s only hit, a solo home run in the fifth inning, as the Hoppers fell 3-1 to Delmarva in the final home game of the season. They still have four games to play in Lakewood, starting Friday, but they take a 10-game losing streak into that series.

As for the Hoppers’ home field, it will have a new name next season. NewBridge Bank was bought by Yadkin Bank, which in turn was gobbled up by First National Bank of Pennsylvania, known as FNB. Team president Donald Moore he knows FNB will be in the name next year but it hasn’t been worked out if it will be called a park, a stadium or a field.

The Hoppers were swept in the four-game series, scoring only 10 runs. Gould drove in seven of them with three homers and a pair of singles. Shorebirds left-hander Reid Love held the Hoppers at bay with a sharp breaking ball. He retired the first 13 hitters, gave up Gould’s homer, then retired the last seven he faced in his seven-inning stint. Love won his ninth game of the season, striking out seven.

Reliever Luke Rutledge, another lefty, set down all six hitters he faced to record his sixth save. The two pitchers combined to retire 27 of 28 Greensboro batters.

There were some excellent defensive plays by the Hoppers. Isael Soto made a fine catch in the right field corner, Kyle Barrett went up against the fence to haul in a drive to left field and the infield, with utility man Gio Alfonzo playing first base, turned three double plays.

Starter Cody Poteet, as he has done all year, battled his way through five innings. He gave up five hits, including a leadoff homer, plus three walks but limited the damage to two runs. In his final start of the season, he was charged with his 10th loss against four wins, although he finished with a sparkling 2.81 ERA.