Photo: Greensboro Grasshoppers
GREENSBORO, N.C. — The Greensboro Grasshoppers took on the Delmarva Shorebirds for the third and final game of the series on Saturday. With the Grasshoppers having already lost the series (Delmarva defeated Greensboro on Thursday and Friday) they wanted to come out and prevent the ‘Birds from getting a three-game sweep.
Let’s hop into the game!
The starting pitchers were Max Garner (Greensboro) and Sebastian Vader (Delmarva).
There was not much to talk about in the first 3 1/2 innings, except for the fact that by the bottom of the fourth, Garner already had five strikeouts. The score was still tied 0-0, but Garner was putting work in for the ‘Hoppers.
In the first at-bat in the bottom of the fourth, 1B Felix Munoz hit a home run to give the Grasshoppers a 1-0 lead, something they would keep through the next few innings.
Throughout the next couple of innings, Garner would get three more strikeouts (eight total), Vader would get two more strikeouts, and Hector Veloz (Delmarva) would come in for Josh Hart (Delmarva) in right field. In the top of the eighth, things began to get interesting. On the first at-bat of the inning, Delmarva RF/LF Mike Yastrzemski hit a home run to tie the game at one-a-piece. The score would stay that way for awhile.
The next big time action would happen in the bottom of the eleventh, when the Grasshoppers just needed one run to win the ballgame. The score was still 1-1. First, CF Yefri Perez was hit by a pitch, putting him on base. Next, SS Justin Bohn hit a sacrifice bunt to send Perez to second base. After that, 1B Felix Munoz (who hit a home run in the fourth) was intentionally walked, putting runners on both second and first bases. Then, Austin Dean came up to the plate. The pitch came to him, and he hit it with force, making it hit the wall in left field, giving him a walk-off double in the bottom of the eleventh.
“It felt great off the bat,” Dean said in the locker room after the game. “[The hit] was nothing special, it wasn’t anything big. [I just needed] to get on base.”
The final in eleven innings would be 2-1 in favor of the Grasshoppers. Overall, Greensboro had six hits in the game, while Delmarva had ten. The Grasshoppers’ pitchers recorded fifteen strikeouts, while the Shorebirds’ pitchers had six. The winning pitcher was CJ Robinson (Greensboro), while the losing pitcher was Dennis Torres (Delmarva).
Grasshopper of the Game: Austin Dean, who went two-for-four with one RBI, including the walk-off double to win the ballgame.
Next Game: Monday, April 21st, 2014 @ Rome Braves.
Next Home Game: Tuesday, April 29th, 2014 vs. Greenville Drive.
Record: With the win tonight, the Grasshoppers moved to 8-8, putting them in third place in the South Atlantic League Northern Division standings.
~Victor Hensley (@Frezeal33)