Bill Hass on Baseball:Hoppers sweep with double shutouts

Hoppers sweep with double shutouts
from Bill Hass with Bill on Baseball at

The Hoppers found the perfect antidote for an opponent with a hot pitching staff?—?pitch even better.

And that’s exactly what Edward Cabrera, Dustin Beggs and Colton Hock did Sunday afternoon.

After two games of being stifled by Lakewood’s staff, the Hoppers returned the favor with a doubleheader double shutout, sweeping the BlueClaws 8–0 and 2–0.

(Full disclosure: I was unable to be there and was unable to reach manager Todd Pratt.)

Cabrera pitched the opener, throwing a complete game of seven innings, allowing four hits and no walks and striking out five. It was his first victory as a Hopper, his longest outing of the season and the first time he hasn’t walked anyone.

It was the second time the 20-year-old Cabrera has held the BlueClaws in check. On April 16 at Lakewood, he hurled six no-hit innings but came away with no decision.

He was backed by an offense that finally broke loose Sunday after being held to one run in two games by Lakewood pitching. The Hoppers scored three times in the first inning and put the game away with four more in the fifth.

The top six batters in the lineup did all the damage, going 10-for-16. Marcos Rivera had two hits and four RBIs, including a three-run homer. Cameron Baranek added his first homer as a Hopper plus a sacrifice fly. Jose Devers went 3-for-3.

Beggs, who has been pitching out of the bullpen, made a spot start in the second game and allowed only one hit in four innings. Although he didn’t qualify for the win, Beggs gave the Hoppers an important start because a doubleheader disrupts a pitching rotation.

Hock pitched the last three innings and allowed just one hit as he picked up his fifth win of the season.

The offense did just enough, getting RBIs from Micah Brown and Lazaro Alonso.

Altogether, the three Hoppers pitchers combined to pitch 14 shutout innings, allowing just six hits while striking out 10 and allowing no walks.

The sweep stopped the Hoppers’ slide of 10 losses in 11 games and bumped their record to 18–21. They start a four-game series against Kannapolis Monday night at 7 o’clock at First National Bank Field.