'Hoppers Eke out Win over Surging 'Birds
SALISBURY, MD - With two on and two out, Jean Carlos Encarnacion nearly hit his second walkoff homer of the year but instead flew out to the deepest part of Arthur W. Perdue Stadium as the Delmarva Shorebirds fell 7-6 to the Greensboro Grasshoppers in 10 innings on Friday night.
The loss dealt the Shorebirds (25-6) their first series loss of the season and moved the Grasshoppers (22-11) into a tie for second, four games back of first-place Delmarva in the SAL Northern Division.
With the score knotted at 6-6 in the top of the 10th, Greensboro struck for three runs. The inning began with Michael Gretler stationed at second base and he advanced to third after Fabricio Macias reached on an error. Macias then stole second, setting up Jonah Davis to bloop a single over the drawn-in infield and into left, scoring Macias and Gretler to put Greensboro ahead 6-4. Davis then stole second himself and came around to score on a Mason Martin RBI single, making it a 7-4 game.
Just like they have the entire season, the Shorebirds did not go down without a fight. Robbie Thorburn began the bottom of the 10th as the free runner at second and moved to third on Adam Hall's infield single. A wild pitch pushed Thorburn across to make it 7-5 Greensboro and moved Hall to second. Doran Turchin then walked, putting the tying run on base. Following back-to-back strikeouts, pinch-hitter Daniel Fajardo fouled off a pair of two-strike pitches and singled to right, scoring Hall to cut it to 7-6 and advancing Turchin to third. Encarnacion then stepped to the plate and drilled a 3-2 pitch to center, but the ball died in the air and Davis hauled it in on the warning track to end the game.
Braedan Ogle (1-0) collected the win for Greensboro. Ogle came on in the ninth and threw two innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on two hits. Tim Naughton (1-2) swallowed the loss for the Shorebirds, giving up three runs (one earned) on two hits in the ninth and 10th.
It took until the fourth for Delmarva to fire the opening salvo of the game. Doran Turchin walked to lead off the inning and Cadyn Grenier followed him with a single. After a strikeout, Ben Breazeale worked a walk to load the bases. Seamus Curran then stroked a liner that landed just fair down the right field line, scoring all three runners to put the Shorebirds ahead 3-0.
Greensboro answered immediately in the top of the fifth. Grant Koch singled and Patrick Dorrian walked to put runners at first and second to open the inning. A wild pitch advanced both runners, and a subsequent Gretler groundout scored Koch to get Greensboro on the board at 3-1. After a strikeout, Davis rolled a single over the mound and into center, bringing Dorrian home to cut the Shorebird lead to 2-1.
After a Mason Martin one-out double in the top of the sixth, Rodolfo Castro stroked a two-run homer to left field to put the Grasshoppers ahead 4-3.
Adam Hall answered Castro with a solo home run to begin the bottom of the eighth to tie the game at 4-4. Walks to Grenier and Breazeale put two on with two out later in the inning, but Encarnacion struck out swinging to end the threat, helping to send the game to extras.
Hall broke an 0-for-14 slump with his second homer of the season and finished the game 2-for-5 with two runs scored. Curran plated half of the Shorebirds' runs with his three-run double, his fourth multi-RBI game of the season.
Davis powered the offense from the nine-hole for the Grasshoppers, going 2-for-4 with a run and three RBIs, including the game-winner in the 10th. Castro's two-run homer was his 11th of the season, coming off a week in which he blasted five. Martin finished 2-for-4 with a double, run, RBI, and stolen base.
Gray Fenter endured a no-decision for Delmarva, allowing two runs on two hits over five innings while walking three and striking out five. Greensboro's Alex Manasa matched Fenter with a five-inning no-decision, allowing three runs on four hits with three walks and six strikeouts.
The Shorebirds now welcome in the in-state Hagerstown Suns for the renewal of the annual Governor's Cup series beginning on Saturday night. Drew Rom (1-0, 2.53) draws the start for Delmarva while Francys Peguero (1-1, 2.45) is scheduled for Hagerstown. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. with gates opening at 4:00 for batting practice. Saturday is Little League Night and Tri-County Walk Night at Perdeu Stadium and after the game will feature Q105 Fireworks presented by the Tri-County Health Departments. Pregame coverage on Fox Sports 960 AM and the MiLB First Pitch App begins at 6:50 p.m. with Will DeBoer and Sam Jellinek on the call.
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