Hoppers defeat RiverDawgs, win third straight

Bryan Edwards | Kentucky New Era

Hoptown pitcher Clay Simpson pitches during the Hoppers' contest against the Owensboro RiverDawgs at Tiger Field on Friday.

The Hoptown Hoppers found themselves ahead early Friday, but still needed a late-game comeback to secure a win.

Trailing 5-3 heading into the bottom of the seventh inning, Hoptown scored five runs in two innings to push itself over the Owensboro RiverDawgs 8-5 at Tiger Field.

The Hoppers jumped out to an early lead for the second consecutive night as Drew McGowan recorded an infield single before coming all the way around the bases in the bottom of the first to take the 1-0 advantage.

After nothing in the second inning, Hoptown struck again in the third. Hunter Evans sent a deep ball over the left field wall, scoring himself as well as Robbie McCargar, and giving the Hoppers a 3-0 lead through three innings.

However, Owensboro wasn't going to go away easily as it scored two runs in the fifth to close the gap before adding three more in the sixth to take a 5-3 lead.

Hoptown is no stranger to comebacks, as its first two wins of the season, the team trailed before coming back to win. In the bottom of the seventh frame, it got its chance.

The first three Hoppers in the inning drew walks, bringing up Micah Genter, who took advantage. With one swing of the bat, Genter tied the game with a two-run double. A sacrifice fly from Evans scored one more run before the end of the inning to give his team the lead heading into the final two innings.

Although it had the lead, Hoptown wanted to make sure it had some cushion to work with. With two on and two out, Genter continued his good night with a two-run triple to put the Hoppers up 8-5 heading into the final inning.

That proved to be more than enough for Brennan Crooms.

Crooms retired the RiverDawgs in order in the top of the ninth to seal the deal and give the Hoppers their third straight win. They now sit over .500 on the season at 4-3.

After losing three in a row, the young Hoptown team has strung together three wins in three days, all on its home field.

The Hoppers will look to make it four straight wins and stay perfect in their four-game homestand as they take the field again at 6 p.m. Sunday against the Dubois County Bombers.

Hoptown 8, Owensboro 5

OWN 000 023 000 5 6 2

HOP 102 000 32X 8 9 1

WP: Stevenson (2.2 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 K)

LP: Gillim (0 IP, 3 R, 3 BB)

OWN: Hogwood (1-3), Falkenstein (1-4, R, 3 RBI), Ellis (1-3, R), Sanders (1-4, RBI), Hartline (1-4), Singleton (1-2, R)

HOP: McGowan (2-4, 3 R), Genter (2-5, 5 RBI), McCargar (1-3, R), Evans (1-2, HR, R, 3 RBI), Bennett (1-4), Conn (1-4), Kendall (1-3, 2 R).

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