Senne excels with bat and glove
Aug. 6, 2012
There’s more than one way to make an impact on a baseball game, as Aaron Senne demonstrated Monday afternoon.
Senne not only drove in the game-winning run but also made a spectacular catch as the Hoppers beat Delmarva 5-4 in 11 innings. The victory was Greensboro’s fifth in six games, pushing its record to 21-24 in the second half.
It was also the Hoppers’ second straight comeback win. They rallied from a 3-0 deficit Sunday to record a 4-3 win and came back from 4-2 down Monday.
Wilfredo Gimenez got things started int he 11th with a one-out single, his fourth hit of the game. Brent Keys and Ryan Goetz followed with singles to load the bases. After Austin Barnes struck out for the second out, Senne hit a grounder up the middle that rolled into center field as Gimenez crossed the plate. It was on an 0-and-2 pitch from reliever Jesse Beal.
“We didn’t need a home run there, just a base hit,” Senne said. “Earlier in the game I had been rushing (his swing) and I talked to (hitting coach) Frank Moore. He said to slow it down and see the ball. I took the first two pitches and that put me in a hole, but I had an idea of what he was throwing. Then he hung one. When I slow things down, I don’t care what the count is, 0-and-2 or 2-and-0.”
Senne had an RBI in the third inning when he doubled in Austin Barnes.
In the top of the seventh inning, with the Hoppers down 4-2, Delmarva’s Mikey Planeta drove a ball deep to left field. Senne had to battle the wind and leaded to make catch at the fence.
“Off the bat I knew it was going to be somewhere on the (warning) track,” Senne said. “I tried to let the wind bring it back to me, then I had to re-adjust and reach back for the ball. It’s a good thing I did because it probably would have been a home run. The ball was right on top of the fence, maybe a little bit over.”
Greg Nappo, watching from the bullpen, said he was sure Senne caught the ball over the fence and brought it back.
“I’ve always taken a lot of pride in playing good defense,” Senne said. “It’s not that difficult. You just have to know the game and be somewhat athletic.”
Gimenez had a home run and three singles in his best offensive day of the season. Asked when was the last time he had four hits in a game, Gimenez said “I don’t remember.” A teammate walking by wisecracked that it was “probably in T-ball.”
His homer, just his second of the season, was a line drive that just kept rising and carried out.
“I thought it was a double,” Gimenez said, “then I saw it just keep going.”
In the bottom of the seventh, Keys singled home one run and Ryan Goetz hit a sacrifice fly to tie the game.
Starter Charlie Lowell breezed through the first three innings for the Hoppers, allowing just one hit. But things began coming apart in the fourth when he couldn’t establish his fastball on the inside part of the plate. He got out of a bases-loaded mess with no damage, but couldn’t make it out of the fifth inning, when he was tagged for four runs.
But the Hoppers bullpen was tremendous. Kevin Cravey and Brad Mincey combined for 5 2/3 shutout innings, allowing one hit and retiring 13 in a row at one point. Nappo pitched the 11th inning and , after walking the leadoff batter, got a flyout and a double play ball. He wound up as the winner.
“The bullpen was throwing strikes and letting the hitters get themselves out,” said manager David Berg. “They just need to continue to do that.”
The Hoppers head to Rome for a four-game series that begins Wednesday night. After a day off, they will play three games at West Virginia.
Rome, after a miserable first half in which it won just 18 games, has some new talent and is 29-15 in the second half and leading the Southern Division by 4 1/2 games. It’s the only meeting of the season between the teams.
“It should be fun,” Berg said. “I hear they’ve got some pretty good arms.”