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In case you were wondering - and I certainly was - the 20 runs scored by the Hoppers Monday night against Asheville set a team record.
J.T. Riddle led the way in the 20-2 rout by going 5-for-7 with a home run, two doubles, three RBIs and two runs scored. Felix Munoz had four hits and three runs, Austin Dean had four RBIs and Kentrell Dewitt drove in three. Every batter in the lineup had a hit, drove in a run and scored one to help Ryan Newell cruise to his eighth win.
The previous record - and this is for the franchise since it became the Hoppers in 2005 - was 18 runs, done three times. Here's a quick look at those games.
April 21, 2005 - Hoppers 18, Asheville 8. In this road game, Jon Fulton went 5-for-6 with three RBIs and J.T. Restko went 4-for-5 with four RBIs.
Aug. 19, 2005 - Hoppers 18, Lake County 1. Playing at home, Brad McCann had four hits, including a grand slam, and drove in eight runs. Norberto Batista scored five runs. The 17-run margin stood as the biggest ever for the Hoppers until Monday's 18-run spread.
June 9, 2007 - Hoppers 18, Kannapolis 6. Another home game where Adam Howard hit three homers and drove in five runs and John Raynor added four hits and four runs.
By my count (always subject to scrutiny), the Hoppers have scored 17 runs once, 16 runs three times and 15 runs five times, including two days before the 20-run outburst.
So what about the flip side? The most runs the Hoppers have given up is also 20, scored by Kannapolis in a 20-6 thrashing administered in Greensboro on June 28, 2008. The most startling stat line in that one was Hoppers starting pitcher Kyle Kaminska. He gave up eight runs in three innings and began the fourth but gave up four runs without getting an out. So he was credited with three innings pitched and charged with 12 runs, all earned.
The Hoppers have given up 19 runs twice and 18 runs once. The 18-run game came in 2005 against Lake County, three days after the Hoppers had scored that many against the Captains.
I researched this by going through the season-by-season results, so I could have missed something. If you find an error, don't hesitate to contact me.
NOTES: When Dewitt came off the injured list, Cody Keefer was promoted back to Jupiter. After a slow start in Jupiter, Keefer was returned to the Hoppers, where he played last season. He earned his way back by hitting .319 with four homers, 23 RBIs and 33 runs scored in 43 games … Almost lost in the offensive explosion was the pitching turnaround in Asheville. After giving up 20 runs in the first two games, Hoppers pitchers allowed just two runs in the next two games. Sean Townsley pitched a beauty Sunday, eight shutout innings of four-hit ball with eight strikeouts. Locked in a scoreless game through eight innings, which almost never happens at McCormick Field, the Hoppers scored four runs in the ninth to earn the win for Townsley … Greensboro begins a three-game series tonight at Lexington with Jarlin Garcia starting.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.