Lopez's Grand Slam Leads Stripers Past Norfolk
LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. - Jack Lopez hit a grand slam in the fifth inning to power the Gwinnett Stripers (29-20) past the Norfolk Tides (21-26) by a 9-6 score on Sunday afternoon at Coolray Field. Travis Demeritte and Ryan LaMarre both added two-run home runs in the contest.
Scoring Recap: Trailing 2-0 in the second, the Stripers got on the board as LaMarre tripled and scored on a groundout by Sean Kazmar Jr. to make it 2-1. Demeritte (11) gave Gwinnett a 3-2 lead in the third with a two-run homer to left off Tyler Herb. In the fifth, Lopez (4) crushed a 397-foot grand slam to right-center off Herb to put the Stripers up 7-2. With Gwinnett up 7-3 in the seventh, LaMarre (4) hit a two-run homer to left off Luis Gonzalez to extend the advantage to 9-3. Norfolk scored three runs over the eighth and ninth innings against Jonathan Aro, but saw their comeback fall short at 9-6.
Stripers Stats: Lopez went 1-for-3 with a grand slam and four RBIs. LaMarre went 3-for-3 with a triple, homer, three runs scored, and two RBIs, falling a double shy of the cycle. Demeritte went 1-for-3 with a homer and two RBIs. Bryse Wilson (W, 3-4) pitched 5.2 innings and yielded three runs on seven hits to pick up his third win. Aro (S, 1) was rewarded with the save after he worked the final 3.1 innings and gave up three runs on seven hits.
Tides Stats: Herb (L, 3-2) was tagged for seven runs on eight hits over 5.2 innings in the loss. Jace Peterson went 4-for-4 with two doubles, a triple, and an RBI, falling a homer shy of the cycle. Jesus Sucre went 2-for-3 with a double and two RBIs.
Quote: "Just staying consistent and working on my strength has been key," Demeritte said. "I don't let moments get the best of me and just continue to ride it out."
Postgame Notes: Demeritte homered to extend his on-base streak to an International League-best 28 games. Lopez has now homered in three straight games, tallying nine RBIs in that span. His grand slam was Gwinnett's second this season, first since Austin Riley on May 14 at Buffalo. The Stripers lead the IL with 88 home runs, including 55 through 24 games in May.
Next Game (Monday, May 27): Gwinnett vs. Norfolk, 6:05 p.m. at Coolray Field. LHP Kolby Allard (4-2, 3.97 ERA) for the Stripers vs. LHP Keegan Akin (2-2, 3.92 ERA) for the Tides. Radio Broadcast: 5:50 p.m. on 97.7 and 93.5 FM "The Other Side of the River."
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