Over the weekend the Hoppers split a rain-abbreviated two-game set with the hottest team in the Sally League, the 12-2 Delmarva Shorebirds. With the win of Saturday night’s game two, Greensboro improves to 8-8 on the season.
THURSDAY Shorebirds 6 Grasshoppers 1
Greensboro was dazzled by the precocious repertoire of 19-year-old Grayson Rodriguez, who was drafted by Baltimore in the first round of last year’s draft. The Texan used his low-to-mid nineties heater, low-eighties change, and a pair of breaking balls to strike out eight Hoppers over five-and-two-thirds innings while allowing just one run on a line-drive solo shot the by Rodolfo Castro.
The Birds were more successful against Greensboro starter Brad Case, plating one in the first on a solo homer by Robert Neustrom and two more in the second when Doran Turchin hit a two-run shot. The visitors put the game away in the sixth with a three-spot off reliever Braeden Ogle and smacked two more long-balls, a solo by Seamus Curran and a two-runner by Cadyn Grenier. Zach Matson tossed two scoreless and Nick Greuner one-and-a-third to close proceedings.
SATURDAY Grasshoppers 8 Shorebirds 4
The Hoppers followed a wash-out Friday with six early runs off starter Gray Fenter as they romped to a satisfying win. Fenter had good enough stuff to strike out seven over two-and-two-thirds innings but was buried by three gopher balls. Fabricio Macías led off the bottom of the second with a homer, and with two outs the speedy Lolo Sánchez forced a throwing error by the pitcher and scored on a single by Connor Kaiser. Kaiser scored on an impressive opposite-field shot by Mason Martin.
Macías singled in the third and scored on a bomb by Pat Dorrian, in the same direction and perhaps more prodigious than Martin’s. The home team tacked on in the fifth with a solo homer by Brett Kinneman and added another in the eighth on a triple by Sánchez and another single by Kaiser. Steven Jennings had a solid bounce-back start amidst a rough beginning to the season, tossing five and allowing just a pair of runs in the third on a double by Cadyn Grenier and singles by Robert Neustrom and Adam Hall. Nicholas Economos struck out five over his two innings of relief work, allowing a run in the sixth on a single by Will Robertson, an error by the second baseman, and a single by Doran Turchin.