Bill Hass on Baseball:Neither rain nor Hoppers stop Asheville

Neither rain nor Hoppers stop Asheville
from Bill Hass with Bill on Baseball(Greensboro Grasshoppers) at….

Rain, shine, afternoon, night?—?none of it seems to matter when the Hoppers play Asheville.

The Tourists put a 9–2 licking on Greensboro Sunday afternoon in a game shortened to seven innings by rain. It was delayed once for 41 minutes, resumed and then washed out by a second storm.

It was Asheville’s 11th win in 13 games against the Hoppers, during which Greensboro has been outscored by 44 runs (112–68).

The Hoppers were held to one hit by Garrett Schilling, who went five innings, and Moises Ceja, who pitched two innings after the first delay. Asheville, meanwhile, pounded out 14 hits and hit three homers, all to right field where the wind was blowing out.

“We had no answer for their offense,” said Hoppers manager Todd Pratt.

The lone Greensboro hit was a two-run homer by Will Banfield, one of the trio of young players who joined the club for the start of the home stand. It was his third hit with the Hoppers?—?all of them home runs.

“He’s strong, he’s got a good swing and he’s making pitchers pay for mistakes,” Pratt said.

Hoppers starter Colton Hock lasted six innings but was rocked for 11 hits and seven runs. Three runs scored in the second inning when he gave up five straight singles. In last three starts, Hock has pitched 15 innings, surrendered 25 hits and given up 19 runs (18 earned). His ERA has jumped from 2.92 to 4.40.

“He’s lost his breaking ball,” said pitching coach Mark DiFelice. “He has no secondary pitches to get hitters off his fastball.”

So what’s the solution?

“Just continue to work on his throwing program,” DiFelice said. “He has to keep throwing those pitches to get the feel back.”

The Hoppers get one last crack at the Tourists Monday at noon. Daniel Castano draws the start for Greensboro in the final game of this home stand?—?and the final meeting of the season between the teams.

NOTES: The Hoppers were able to hold Siler City native Casey Golden to no hits, although he walked and scored in the seventh inning against Jeremy Ovalle … Sean Bouchard, Austin Bernard and Matt McLaughlin slugged Asheville’s homers … Base umpire Thomas Fornaroia was nailed by a line drive by Ryan Vilade of the Tourists in the fifth inning … He crumpled to the ground for a moment but was able to get up, walk it off and continue … By rule, Vilade was credited with a single.