Hoppers short-circuited by Power
from Bill Hass with Bill on Baseball(Greensboro Grasshoppers) at www.gsohoppers.com
No rain, no runs.
West Virginia bounced back from a soggy loss Friday night and shut down the Hoppers Saturday, 4–0.
“Their starter did a good job, especially after (Friday) night,” said Hoppers manager Todd Pratt. “We didn’t hit today. We never got a threat going.”
On Friday, the teams endured two rain delays that totaled nearly three hours. After the second delay, the Hoppers came out and scored 10 runs, hitting five homers and beating up the Power’s bullpen.
West Virginia starter Cody Bolton made sure there was no carryover Saturday. He shut out the Hoppers through six innings, allowing just three hits. Three Power relievers followed with a shutout inning apiece, allowing only one hit. to close things out.
Greensboro had only five baserunners and one was wiped out on a double play. There were never two runners on base in the same inning. Cameron Baranek got half of the four hits and was the only runner to reach second base (he also reached third after a wild pitch).
The game was interesting for six innings because Hoppers starter Taylor Braley essentially matched Bolton, allowing only one run. But he tired in the seventh, giving up a single, an RBI double and a walk before getting an out. A two-run double and another single finished his night.
“From a developmental standpoint, this is where you have to learn to work through it,” said pitching coach Mark DiFelice. “When you feel your legs get tired, the fastball starts to creep out and your secondary stuff flattens out and you have to adjust accordingly.”
The teams play the rubber match in the three-game set Sunday at 2 p.m. Brandon Miller will start for the Hoppers.
“Overall, we’re playing better,” Pratt said. “We’re .500 in our last 10 games and we need to gain some ground. (Sunday) would be a good start.”
NOTES: Right fielder Isael Soto came off the disabled list and Zach Sullivan was promoted to Jupiter, where he played last season … The Hoppers were charged with three errors … Utility man Micah Brown, playing second base, made one error but also started a double play with a fine diving stop and backhand flip to shortstop Garvis Lara covering second base.