Welcome to On the Hop, a weekly column recapping the the past week of Hoppers action and priming you for the week ahead. This week’s OtH will recap a span of games that saw the Hoppers go 3-1 and improve to a winning 4-3 record.
Tuesday, June 4 at Paducah Chiefs, L 12-5
The Hoppers hit the road for Brooks Stadium in Paducah to face the 3-0 Chiefs. A 2-run 1st for Paducah gave the Hoppers an early deficit for the fourth straight game. The Hoppers would respond with a run in the 2nd thanks to an effective double steal that scored Hunter Evans. Paducah would push their lead further with a 5 run, 5-hit 2nd. The Hoppers would score a run in the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th innings, and were primed for a big 5th, but a double play halted the inning with the Hoppers only plating two. The Chiefs would extend their lead again with 4 runs in the bottom of the frame to give us our final score as the two teams would go scoreless in the final four innings.
With the loss, the Hoppers’ losing streak reached 3 games.
#32 Brennan Crooms: 2-for-3, 2B, 3B, 2 RBI, R, BB
#34 Wyatt Stevenson: 2-for-3, RBI, First Game as a Hopper
#13 Hunter Evans: 2-for-4, 3B, 2 R
Wednesday, June 5 vs Paducah Chiefs, W 6-4
The Hoppers faced a familiar foe, as the Chiefs made a return trip to Hoptown after facing off in Paducah the night before. The Hoppers again found themselves in an early deficit for the 5th game in a row. One run in the 1st and two in the 4th gave the Hoppers a 3 run lead going into the 5th inning. The Hoppers offense would tie the game in the 5th, as the first three Hoptown batters would reach via walks, and two of the three runs would score via a Brennan Crooms single.
Lane Diuguid responded with a 1-2-3 inning, which was his fourth of the game. Diuguid and reliever Wyatt Stevenson would combine for five 1-2-3 frames in the contest. Both teams would produce a run in the 7th inning and remain tied. The Hoppers would take their first and ultimate lead in the 8th, with Brant Husser and Micah Genter both scoring from second base on ground balls that didn’t leave the infield. The 6 runs were enough for the win, but the Hoppers offense left 11 runners on base, with 7 of those being in scoring position, throughout the contest.
The 6-4 victory snapped the Hopper’s 3-game losing skid, gave Paducah their first loss, and kicked off a scheduled 4-game home-stand.
#32 Brennan Crooms: 2-for-4, 2 RBI
#18 Seth Bennett: 2-for-4, 2B, RBI
#8 Lane Diuguid: 6.2 IP, 4 H, 4 BB, 7 SO, 2 ER
#34 Wyatt Stevenson (W): 2.1 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 2 SO, 0 ER
Thursday, June 6 vs Henderson Flash, W(7) 19-5
The Hoppers avoided the rain, and stayed home to welcome the Henderson Flash at Tiger Field. The Hoppers offense finally had the big outburst they had been looking for, as they exploded for 7 runs, on 5 hits, and all with 2 outs, in the game’s first inning. This marked the first time on the young season that the Hoppers would score the game’s first runs.
The big 1st, would have allowed Hoptown to somewhat coast through the rest of the contest, but the offense extended the lead with another 6 runs on 5 hits, with the loudest being a 3-run homerun off the wooden bat of Chandler Kendall.
#1 Chandler Kendall: 2-for-4, HR, 5 RBI, 2 R
#18 Seth Bennett: 3-for-4, 2B, 4 RBI, 3 R, BB
#22 Charlie Fischer: 1-for-2, 4 RBI, 2 R, 2 BB, SB
#9 Cam Barlow (W): 4.0 IP, 2 H, 2 BB, 7 SO, 2 ER
Friday, June 7 vs Owensboro RiverDawgs, W 8-5
Friday night brought the league-leading RiverDawgs to Tiger Field, and the Hoppers repeated the winning formula by scoring the game’s first run. One run in the 1st, and a 2-run Hunter Evans homerun had the Hoppers sitting with a 3-run lead going into the 5th inning. However, Owensboro would claim the lead with 2 runs in the 5th, and a 3-run homer in the 6th.
The Hoppers responded with 3 runs in the 7th, with all the runs reaching base via walks. Hoptown would extend their lead with two insurance runs an inning later. The Hoppers pitching staff opened the contest with 4 scoreless frames, and ended the night by tossing 3 scoreless innings.
With the win, the Hoppers reversed a 3-game losing skid into a 3-game winning streak.
#35 Micah Genter: 2-for-5, 2B, 3B, 5 RBI
#6 Drew McGowan: 2-for-4, 3 R, BB, 2 SB
#13 Hunter Evans: 1-for-2, HR, 3 RBI, R, BB
Hoppers of the Week
#32 Brennan Crooms: 7-for-11, 2 2B, 3B, 4 RBI, 4 R, .636 AVG, .714 OBP, 1.000 SLG, 1.714 OPS
#8 Lane Diuguid: 6.2 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 7 SO 2.7 ERA, 1.2 WHIP
Talk of Hoptown: Stats to Keep Your Eye On
#32 Brennan Crooms: .600 Batting Average (Leads OVL)
#6 Drew McGowan: 7 Stolen Bases (2nd in OVL)
#8 Lane Diuguid: 7 1-2-3 Innings Pitched/11.2 IP
The Week Ahead
The 4-3 Hoppers look to build on their 3-game winning streak. The week ahead presents 6 games, with 3 at home and 3 on the road.
Tuesday, June 11 at Owensboro (5-2), 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday, June 12 vs Muhlenberg County (1-5), 7:00p.m.
Thursday, June 13 vs Madisonville (2-4), 7:00 p.m., Stitches’ Birthday, Mascot Night
Friday, June 14 at Muhlenberg County (1-5), 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, June 15 vs Muhlenberg County (1-5), 7:00 p.m., Beach Party Night, “Shirt Off Their Backs” Charity Jersey Auction
Sunday, June 16 at Franklin (2-5), 6:00 p.m.
Follow the Hoppers on social media @HoptownHoppers for updates and gameday information.