Hoppers final home game ends with bang, bust

Lakewood runs away with 6-run 9th before fireworks show

By Josh Feldman / Greensboro Grasshoppers | August 30, 2018 10:26 PM

GREENSBORO, N.C. (August 30, 2018) -- The Grasshoppers' struggles at home continued through the final game in Greensboro with an 11-3 loss to the playoff-bound Lakewood BlueClaws on Thursday at First National Bank Field. Greensboro (23-40 Second Half, 57-75 Overall) dropped its 10th straight game, setting a new season high, while losing its 14th in a row at home.

Simon Muzziotti led Lakewood at the plate, going 4-for-6 with an RBI and a run scored. Madison Stokes and Dalton Guthrie each drove in three runs, with Guthrie's coming on a 3-run home run (5) in the top of the ninth. Lakewood scored six runs in the final frame to widen the gap and clinch the Northern Division Second Half crown. As a result, the BlueClaws -- who also won the First Half -- will face the second-best overall team in the division in the playoffs.

Isael Soto paced the Grasshoppers, going 2-for-4 with a 2-run home run (12) in the bottom of the eighth inning.

Both starters logged decisions as Andrew Brown (6-3) tossed 7.0 innings to earn the win for Lakewood. The BlueClaws' arm allowed an unearned run on four hits with two walks and four strikeouts before relievers Luis Ramirez and Zach Warren each spun an inning to close the game.

Trevor Rogers (2-7) took the loss for Greensboro, allowing five runs on eight hits in 4.0 innings, striking out five and walking two. The Grasshoppers pitching staff combined to strikeout 11 batters on the night, with Nestor Bautista fanning four in 3.0 innings, and Michael Mertz adding two more in his 1 and 2/3 frames.

The Grasshoppers hit the road for a 4-game series at Hickory to close the 2018 regular season.  

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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