Courtesy of Omega Sports, “Your Neighborhood Sports Store”, on Battleground Avenue, in Greensboro…..
Final from Thursday night, at First National Bank Field:
Greensboro Grasshoppers 7, Wilmington Blue Rocks 6…12 Innings
Hoppers' line:7-14-2 Rocks' line: 6- 6-1
Steak n Shake Players of the Game:Yoyner Fajardo, who had the Game-Winning RBI for the Greensboro Grasshoppers in the bottom of the 12th inning….Fajardo drove in Fabricio Macias, who was the ghost runner at second base, to begin the bottom of the 12th…Fajardo hit a ground ball to the left of the second base bag, and the ball rolled into left-center field, as Macias raced home from third base…Macias had moved from second to third base, on a perfectly executed Sacrifice Bunt, from Jack Herman…Fajardo, with the Game-Winning RBI, and Macias, with the Game-Winning Run…
Hoppers’ left-handed pitcher Nick Dombkowski, also our other Steak n Shake Player of the Game, as he became the Game-Winning pitcher, after working a scoreless top of the 12th inning….Dombkowski gave up a walk, and that was the only batter to reach base vs. Dombkowski, other than the ghost-runner, who was already given second base, before Dombkowski took the hill….The 12th inning ghost-runner for Wilmington was Cole Daily…Yasel Antuna, drew the walk from Dombkowski..,
So, it was like taking a trip to the Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum, at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina…The Grasshoppers got the win, and there for awhile it did not look like they would win a game this week, vs. the Wilmington Blue Rocks…Rocks over the Hoppers, 5-0, on Tuesday…Rocks up 9-0, on Wednesday, and they go on to win the game, 10-4…Rocks up 1-0, on Thursday, before the Hoppers tied the game at 1-each/1-1….Then the Rocks turn around and go up 5-1, and all is not lost, but it is starting to look a bit bleak again…Hoppers were able to cut the lead Rocks lead to 5-2, and then all of the sudden, in the eighth inning, the Hoppers get three runs, including a two-run Home Run from Abrahan Gutierrez, and the next thing you know, this game is all tied up at 5-5…
In the top of the ninth inning, the Rocks’ Jose Sanchez walks, and advances two bases on wild pitches and then scores run #6 for the Rocks, and they move ahead, 6-5…But, all hope is not lost, as the Greensboro Grasshoppers’ Dariel Lopez gets hit by a pitch, and he scores the tying run, to make it 6-6, coming home on a Triple from Endy Rodriguez…Rodriguez ends up getting thrown out at the plate, trying to get home from third, and now we were headed on to the 10th, the 11th and the 12th innings…And that is where Fajardo was able to bring Macias home, with that game-winner…
To tell the full story of this baseball game, we need to build a Ripley’s Believe It or Not dugout, or clubhouse…This game almost needs a permanent resting place…
We had the point of the game where Michell Miliano entered the contest to pitch for the Hoppers in the top of the ninth inning….Miliano proceeded to walk the first two batters he faced, and after visits from the pitching coach Fernando Nieve, and then the Hoppers’ manager Callix Crabbe, Miliano was ready to come out of the game…But, in true Ripley’s Believe It or Not fashion, the home plate umpire Casey James would not Miliano leave the contest…There is a new rule that says a pitcher must face at least three batters when he takes the mound, and starts/begins his pitching assignment for that game, but Miliano had only faced two batters, his walk to Jose Sanchez, and his walk to Jordy Barley…So, Miliano had to stay out there on the mound, and pitch to one more Blue Rock batter, and he did, and he was able to induce a ground ball to second baseman Yoyner Fajardo, from Cole Daily, and then Miliano loaded up his stuff and got out of there/left the ballgame…Again this was like a Ripley’s Believe It or Not moment….
Then just a little bit later on in the game, the Rocks’ Yasel Antuna was at the plate, and this believe it or not, was in the same inning, the top of the ninth, and Cameron Junker was now pitching for the Hoppers, and Junker faced off with Ricardo Mendez, and Mendez hit a ground ball back to Junker, that Junker knocked down, and the problem was that the runner from third, Jose Sanchez, who had walked earlier vs. Miliano, Sanchez broke for home on contact when Mendez hit the ball, and as Junker was knocking down the Mendez grounder, Sanchez was scoring the run from third…Mendez was out at first, as Junker did salvage that out, but the run was in, as there were now only two outs…And next comes what might have been the tying Ripley’s Believe It or Not, “Play of the Night”….
Two outs in the top of the ninth inning, with Yasel Antuna at the plate for the Blue Rocks…Antuna gets down in the count vs. Cameron Junker at 1-2, and then he is the plate, appearing to be ready to hit, and again with two strikes on him, and with Antuna in the batter’s box, and the Pitch Clock Running, and the Pitch Clock winding down to five seconds left on the clock, and Antuna steps out of the batter’s box, from the left side, and gets called out on strikes, by the home plate umpire, Casey James…With two strikes already on him, and the Pitch Clock headed to zero, Antuna stepped out of the box, resulting in strike three on him, and he was called out on strikes, right there at the plate/dish….And to make the Ripley’s Chart ring even louder, the mistake by Antuna, was out number three for the Rocks, and they were left flat-out of that inning….
Some kind of Ripley’s Believe It or Not type night…The Twelve Inning Game….Hoppers’ Michell Miliano being taken out of the game, but having to stay in the game, because he had not faced the required three batters….Yasel Antuna being called out on strikes, because he stepped out of the batter’s box with the Pitch Clock running out, and Antuna being hit with strike three, as he stepped away…
At least the Hoppers were able to battle back and win the game….An interesting and educational baseball night, at First National Bank Field….The Grasshoppers left 15 men on base, in their 10-4 loss to Wilmington on Wednesday, and the Greensboro boys left 14 more men on base, on Thursday night, but again, the home team did get the victory, and now the Rocks lead the six-game series, 2-1…
Fourteen hits by the Grasshoppers on Thursday night, with a home run from Abrahan Gutierrez, a Triple from Endy Rodriguez, and Doubles from Ernny Ordonez, Sammy Siani, and Jacob Gonzalez…Top Hopper hitter was Gutierrez, who went 3-5/HR/2 RBI…Two Hopper hits each for Gonzalez, Siani, Jack Herman, and Yoyner Fajardo…Hoppers scoring seven runs from seven different players…Only six hits on the night for the Blue Rocks, and their top hitter was Antuna, who was 2-5/HR/2 Runs…The Rocks’ Omar Meregildo homered for the third straight game, with Omar going yard, with solo HR’s on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday of this week…Meregildo now with 9 HR’s, and 33 RBI for the 2022 season…
The most solid Hopper pitchers for the game/evening were Ricky Devito, Cameron Junker, and Nick Dombkowski…Devito, went two innings, with 0 Runs/0 Hits/0 BB’s/3 K’s…Junker 2 2/3’s innings, with 0 Runs/0 Hits/1 BB/3 K’s…Dombkowski goes the 1 Inning for the win, allowing 0 Runs/0 Hits, 1 BB/1 K….
CLICK HERE for the Box Score, from the Thursday night game….
Time of Game-3:41
These same two teams(Greensboro vs. Wilmington) will meet again on Friday evening at First National Bank Field, with the first pitch coming in at 6:30pm…
CLICK HERE to Listen Live to the Friday night game….
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