Bill on Baseball:Errors costly as Asheville tops Hoppers

Final:Asheville Tourists 5, Greensboro Grasshoppers 3
WP:Kenny Oakley(3-3)/LP:Nestor Bautista(0-1)/SV:Reid Humphries(6)
ASHE Line-5-8-1
GSO Line-3-7-2
Hoppers’ record(50-45/13-14)…Tourists’ record(48-49/19-10)

Errors costly as Asheville tops Hoppers
from Bill Hass with Bill on Baseball at

Dustin Beggs did just about everything a starting pitcher can do Saturday night?—?except get a victory.

Asheville took the measure of the Hoppers, 5–3. Beggs didn’t get tagged with the loss, at least, but the only thing he had to show for his outstanding seven-inning stint was a nice report from pitching coach Mark DiFelice.

For the record, Beggs allowed four hits, didn’t walk anyone and struck out five. One of the two runs he gave up was unearned. Overall, errors by second baseman J.C. Millan and third baseman Rony Cabrera cost the Hoppers three unearned runs.

“The defense let us down today,” said manager Todd Pratt.

Beggs did make one mistake?—?surrendering his league-leading 18th home run after the first error. With one out in the top of the fifth, Jacob Bosiokovic hit a high popup just to the right of the mound. First baseman Trenton Hill had a bead on it but backed off when Millan came in at the last moment. The ball hit off Millan’s glove and

Bosiokovic wound up on second base.

Carlos Herrera then belted a two-run homer to give the Tourists a 2–0 lead.

“Hill has priority on that play,” Pratt said. “It was a long run from second base.”

The error changed the situation for Beggs. Instead of two outs and nobody on, there was just one out with a runner on second.

“That could change your mindset,” DiFelice said. “You go from an attacking mode to having to throw without the same conviction.”

DiFelice liked the stamina Beggs showed by going seven innings in high humidity and the way he stayed out of a big inning, something that has plagued him this season.

The right-hander used his deadly pickoff move to nail back-to-back runners in the second inning. Phil Nevin singled and was promptly picked off. Bosiokovic followed with a single and suffered the same fate from Beggs’ quick move.
Catcher Jarett Rindfleish picked off a runner in the third inning with a snap throw to first base after a strikeout.

Pratt said he remembered teammate Turk Wendell picking off runners back-to-back when they were with the Mets. But the feat is rare.

“I bet he’s got 15 or 16 of those this year,” Pratt said of Beggs. “He has quick feet and he throws it like a catcher. Spin, boom and he’s got him.”

The Hoppers came back to tie the game 2–2 on Hill’s two-run double in the seventh inning. Hill moved to third on the throw home, but then was easily thrown out at home when he broke on a grounder by Walker Olis to third base.

“That was a bad read,” Pratt said. “He got a little excited. That’s the kind of thing he’ll learn with more reps, when the game slows down a little.”

Hill is making the change from pitcher to a first baseman and has played only a few games there.

Nelson Bautista came on in the eighth inning and gave up a run on three singles. Cabrera’s fielding error allowed another run to score and a single drove in the third run of the inning. Bautista was the losing pitcher.

The Hoppers got one run back in the bottom of the eighth on an RBI groundout by James Nelson, but that was it.

“We didn’t have a lot of offense but we got some late,” Pratt said. “I’m proud of the way the guys played for nine innings against a good team.”

The Hoppers have lost three of their first four games on this homestand. Dylan Lee will start Sunday’s game, which begins at 4 p.m., for the Hoppers.

NOTES: Pitcher Brandon Miller, one of four players acquired by the Marlins from Seattle, has reported to the Hoppers … He will join the rotation but it hasn’t been decided where his slot will be … Reliever Marcus Crescentini, who compiled a 2–0 record and 1.03 ERA in 26 games, got a well-deserved promotion to Jupiter … Crescentini pitched 35 innings, allowed only 18 hits and struck out 47 batters.