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Dash pitchers shut out Hoppers on 'Hoptoberfest'

Ricky DeVito fans 8 in 4 innings in losing effort, as Hoppers fall to 10-11 in 'Battle of I-40' rivalry
Greensboro Grasshopers right-hander Ricky DeVito struck out eight in four innings, but took a tough-luck loss against Winston-Salem. (Kaylen Ayres/contributed photo)
September 1, 2022

GREENSBORO ― The last Thirsty Thursday of the 2022 Grasshoppers season turned out to be a night to drown sorrows. Hunter Dollander and three relievers combined to strike out 14 in a four-hit shutout as the Winston-Salem Dash beat the Greensboro Grasshoppers 8-0 at First National Bank Field on the

GREENSBORO ― The last Thirsty Thursday of the 2022 Grasshoppers season turned out to be a night to drown sorrows.

Hunter Dollander and three relievers combined to strike out 14 in a four-hit shutout as the Winston-Salem Dash beat the Greensboro Grasshoppers 8-0 at First National Bank Field on the first day of September, dubbed “Hoptoberfest” as the home season dwindles away.

With the loss, Greensboro (54-66) dipped back below .500 in both the second half of the South Atlantic League season and in the “Battle of I-40” rivalry against Winston-Salem.

The Hoppers are 27-28 in the second half and trail North Division leader Brooklyn by six games in the standings with just nine games left in the regular season. And they trail the Dash 11-10 in their season series with three left to play.

Dollander, a 25-year-old free agent signed back in June, made his second start for the Dash and was brilliant. Dollander (1-0) faced just two batters over the minimum in six strong innings, walking none and striking out seven.

He allowed just two baserunners, surrendering Jase Bowen’s sharp single up the middle in the second inning and Jacob Gonzalez’s infield hit on a slow roller in the fourth inning.

Greensboro Grasshoppers pitcher Ricky DeVito. Kaylen Ayres/contributed photo

Hoppers starter Ricky DeVito was sharp, too, retiring the first eight batters he faced before getting nicked for a pair of runs on Riley Jepson’s two-out, bases-loaded double.

DeVito (3-5) was dominant otherwise, walking one and striking out eight in four innings.

Winston-Salem tacked on six more runs against Greensboro’s bullpen, as the Dash went 5-for-8 with runners in scoring position.

Abrahan Gutierrez went 1-for-3 with a walk, and Claudio Finol was 1-for-3 to account for the rest of Greensboro’s hits.

Dash relievers Cooper Bradford, Wilber Perez and Luis Amaya closed out the game with an inning of work apiece. They combined to strike out seven of the 12 batters they faced.

In his career at the News & Record, journalist Jeff Mills won 10 national and 12 state writing awards from the Associated Press Sports Editors, the Society for Features Journalism, and the N.C. Press Association.