All-Stars Lillie, Alonso Lead Hoppers to Win
SALISBURY, Md. - Starting pitcher Ryan Lillie and first baseman Lazaro Alonso proved worthy of their recent South Atlantic League All-Star selections, leading Greensboro to a 4-1 win over Delmarva on Wednesday night at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium. Lillie kept the Shorebirds off the board over the first five innings, retiring the first eight batters he faced and facing one over the minimum through the fifth.
Greensboro (28-28) reached a .500 record for the first time since the team was 15-15 after a May 9 loss at Asheville.
Lillie (5-1) earned his third consecutive win, limiting opposing hitters to a run on four hits while walking none over 7.0 innings of work. Colton Hock spun 2.0 scoreless innings, striking out four, to close the game for the Grasshoppers and earn the save (1).
Delmarva starting pitcher Brenan Hanifee took the loss, allowing two runs on seven hits over 4 and 2/3 innings, striking out four and walking none. Reliever Cameron Ming kept the Shorebirds in the game during the later innings until giving up two runs in the ninth. Ming finished with two runs allowed on three hits while striking out five and walking two over 4 and 1/3 innings.
The Grasshoppers jumped ahead in the top of the ifrst inning when Jose Devers singled to reach base with one out, and Alonso laced a double to right field, scoring Devers from first base for a 1-0 advantage.
Greensboro added to the lead in the third when Jhonny Santos tripled to center field, scoring Devers, for a 2-0 lead.
The Shorebirds cut the Hoppers lead in half, 2-1, with a run in the home half of the sixth. After Lillie retired 16 of the first 17 batters he faced, Will Robertson hit a one-out double to put a Shorebird in scoring position in the bottom of the sixth. Two batters later, Branden Becker hit a 2-out single to plater Robertson.
Hock snuffed out any other offensive dreams by Delmarva, striking out the side in a perfect eighth inning.
In the top of the ninth, Greensboro added a pair of runs on consecutive RBI-doubles. J.C. Millan walked to lead off the inning, and Sam Castro and Thomas Jones each smacked run-scoring doubles to help the Hoppers pull away.
Lillie and Alonso will both represent the Grasshoppers when Greensboro hosts the 59th Annual South Atlantic League All-Star Game presented by Pizza Hut on Tuesday, June 19, at First National Bank Field.
The Grasshoppers play for a series sweep on Thursday at 7:05 p.m. at Demarva. The team returns to Greensboro on Friday to open a 3-game series against Lakewood, and tickets are available online at gsohoppers.com.
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