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Hobgood leads Delmarva to 1,000th win04/15/2010 11:18 PM ET
By Robert Emrich / Special to MLB.com
Matt Hobgood's first win of the season turned out to be special for all of the Shorebirds as Delmarva won the 1,000th game in the franchise's 15-year history by defeating Greensboro, 6-4, on Thursday.
Among those celebrating were manager Ryan Minor, a former South Atlantic League All-Star with the Shorebirds in 1997. The former Major Leaguer hit 24 homers after being drafted by Baltimore in the 33rd round of the 1996 Draft.
"It feels great," the first-year skipper said. "I was fortunate to be part of it. It's kind of fun to have played for them and now to be a part of their history."
Hobgood (1-0) coasted through the first five innings, giving up just three hits before running into some trouble in the sixth. He ended up allowing two runs on six hits while striking out four and without a walk over 5 2/3 innings.
The Orioles' first-round pick in 2009 gave up singles to the first two Grasshoppers he faced, but he fanned the next three to end the threat.
"I think the first couple of batters I left pitches up," Hobgood said. "I started pounding the zone, kept the ball down and hit my spots."
The right-hander, who struggled with control in his first start when he walked five in four innings against Greenville, credited pitching coach Troy Mattes for the quick turnaround.
"Troy and I worked on some things in the days leading up to my start," Hobgood said. "My first start I wasn't consistent and I had to change my motion up a bit. [Thursday,] I felt really in sync. I thought I was pretty consistent through the whole night."
Designated hitter T.J. Baxter supplied the offense for the Shorebirds (6-2), slugging a pair of homers -- a solo shot to start the game and a three-run homer in the fifth.
Minor, Delmarva's hitting coach the past two seasons, was suitably impressed by Baxter.
"He's a guy who gets on base and it was a huge, huge boost when he hit the home run to lead off the game," Minor said.
James Brandhorst picked up his first save for Delmarva with a perfect ninth.
Kyle Skipworth, the Marlins' first-round pick in 2008, smacked a two-run homer off of Hobgood in the sixth for Greensboro (2-6). Chad Kraeger, a 15th-round pick last year, added an eighth-inning solo shot.
Delmarva began play in 1996 as an affiliate of the then-Montreal Expos.
"It feels awesome," Hobgood said. "I heard about it yesterday after we won and it's pretty special to be part of it."