Greensboro Grasshoppers on ‘Cruz Control’ early and then they have to fight back in the 10th Inning with Gonzo helping to get them Gone/Home

Final from Saturday night at First National Bank Field:
Greensboro Grasshoppers 6, Rome Braves 5…10 Innings
WP:Bear Bellomy(2-0)
LP:Gabriel Noguera(0-1)
Game-Winning RBI in the bottom of the 10th Inning came from Greensboro’s Nick Gonzales….Game-Winning run was scored by the Hoppers’ Jack Herman….


Hoppers line:6-9-1
Braves line: 5-5-1

Time of Game/TOG-3:34

Early in this Saturday night affair, the Greensboro Grasshoppers were rolling along on ‘Cruz Control’, following the lead of their starting pitcher, Omar Cruz…Cruz sat down 11 of the first 12 batters he faced and Cruz struck out 10 Rome Brave batters in four innings of work on the mound…Cruz was equally as impressive as the Hoppers’ Friday night starter, Michael Burrows…Cruz might have been even more so impressive than what Burrows was, and that is not taking anything away from Burrows, but Cruz struck out eight of the first nine batters he faced, and like we stated earlier, Cruz fanned 10 of the 14 batters he faced in the first four innings of the game…

Cruz goes the four innings, and he gives up 0 runs, on 0 hits, he walked two Braves batters and again he struck out ten Rome Braves…

With Cruz out of the game in the fifth inning, the Grasshoppers had grabbed a 4-0 lead by this point, so it looked like the home team would keep it rolling on ‘Cruz Control’ the rest of the way/night…But, that was not to be the case…Rome got a solo home run from their second baseman Riley Delgado in the sixth inning off of Hoppers reliever Alex Manasa, and then the Braves responded big-time in the top of the ninth inning, as the Braves third baseman Kevin Josephina lofted a Grand Slam home run to left field and Rome had been trailing 5-1 to Greensboro at that point, but with the Josephina Jolt, the Braves had pulled even with the Hoppers at 5-5…

Up 5-1, and now all tied up at 5-5…What happened to the Hoppers??? They nearly let this one get away from them…For the game, the Hoppers left 11 runners on base, and by the end of the ninth inning, that load of runners could have helped ease the pain, and brought forth the win, but no, too many runners were left on base…Plus the Hoppers’ bullpen let down them on Saturday night….Manasa did his part and he only allowed the solo HR by Delgado to left field, but Bear Bellomy blew his chance at a Hoppers save, and Bellomy ended up getting the win for Greensboro, but it was in many ways a misdirected win…

Bellomy gave up the Grand Slam to Josephina, that scored Estrada, Schwartz, Philip and the master-blaster Josephina for Rome, and you have to say Bear Bellomy did not have his best stuff out there on the mound on Saturday….Bear barely made to the tenth inning, but when he got there, he was able to hold Rome in check, only allowing one base runner, and that was Rusber Estrada, who reached when he got hit by a pitch…Estrada must have felt like he had a target on his back, since he was plunked by Greensboro pitchers twice on Saturday evening…

So, the Greensboro Grasshoppers had that 4-0 lead, then it became a 5-1 Hoppers lead, and then there was all of that Rome Grand Slam home run mess in the top of the ninth inning…It became a 5-5 game and how did the Hoppers hang in and get the win??? We know that Rome came up short of home in the tenth inning, and we know the Hoppers went on to win the game, by the 6-5 score, so how did it all go down in the bottom of the tenth frame, the Hoppers winning inning…

Jack Herman becomes the Hoppers’ runner at second base to start off the tenth inning, since the Minor League Baseball rules state that the man who made the last out in the ninth inning, will start the tenth inning at second base…Go ahead and put a man on second, and that gives the teams a better chance to go ahead and score that game-winning run, and get the game moving forward toward a finish/completion…

Herman at second for the Hoppers, and the leadoff man at the plate for GSO in the bottom of the 10th, Grant Koch, strikes out swinging….Francisco Acuna is up next for the Hoppers and he draws a walk, so the Hoppers have runners at first and third, as Herman has moved on over to third base on a wild pitch….Next up to the plate in the tenth is Matthew Frazier and he receives an Intentional Base on Balls…Herman at third, Acuna now at second base, and Frazier at first….The bases are FOG…Full of Grasshoppers, with the Greensboro second baseman, Nick Gonzales due up to the plate next…The bases are juiced, but the Hoppers just need one run….

One out and three Hoppers on base. and the home team just needs one run to walk away with the win…Gonzales is ready and he slaps a ground ball to the Braves’ shortstop Beau Philip and Philip goes to second baseman Riley Delgado at the second base bag for one out, and then Delgado turns and throws to the Braves’ first baseman Bryce Ball to attempt to complete the double play, and get the third out of the inning and that would leave the Hoppers hanging in a 5-5 tie….

Nick Gonzales hit the ground ball to short pretty hard, and Gonzo can run pretty fast…So as the Braves attempt to pull off the double-play, Gonzales gets down the line from home to first in a hurry, and with a big ole stretch right before he reaches the first base bag, Gonzo has beat the throw from Delgado to Ball, and Gonzales is SAFE at first base and in the process Jack Herman has raced home and he has scored the Game-winning run for the Greensboro Grasshoppers….

Game-winning run from Herman, and Game-winning RBI by Nick Gonzales….Hoppers Win, Hoppers Win, Hoppers Win Again….

What a finish…If Gonzales is called out and doesn’t beat that throw, the Hoppers are GONE in the 10th inning, and headed to the 11th; and maybe a date with Midnight Baseball…Thank-you Nick Gonzales!!!!!

Gonzo Gone, and Hoppers win again…Up 4-0, up 5-1, tied at 5-5, and then they pull it out, winning 6-5 in ten innings….

Wow, what a night…Big-time pitching from Omar Cruz, Bear Bellomy survives to get the win, Jack Herman scores the Game-winning run, and Nick Gonzales comes up with the Game-winning RBI….

Some kind of finish, and Nick Gonzales just had to be SAFE at first base, he just had to be, and he was….

Hoppers’ hitters:Matthew Gorski 3-5/Double/HR/2 Runs/2 RBI/Stolen Base…Jared Triolo 2-5/Run/2 RBI….Grant Koch 2-5/Double/RBI…Aaron Shackleford 1-5…Matthew Frazier 1-4/2 BB’s/Run…LoLo Sanchez 0-1/3 BB’s/HBP/2 Stolen Bases…Jack Herman game-winning run….Nick Gonzales game-winning RBI…
Braves’ hitters:Rusber Estrada 2-3/2 HBP/Run…Kevin Josephina 1-4/Grand Slam HR/4 RBI…Riley Delgado 1-4/BB/HR…Garrison Schwartz 1-4/Double/BB/Run…Beau Philip 0-3/BB/Run…

A wild night at First National Bank Field, and Sunday we’ll see RHP Carmen Mlodzinski for Greensboro, vs. RHP A.J. Puckett, for Rome….First Pitch at 2pm, on Sunday afternoon….