Game Story: Will Matthiessen Powers Grasshoppers to Victory in Henry Davis' Debut

Photo Credit: Greensboro News and Record

 The Greensboro Grasshoppers got a boost in their lineup before the game, as 2021 first overall pick Henry Davis was promoted from the Florida Complex League and slotted into the fifth spot in the lineup as the designated hitter.

It was Will Matthiessen coming in big for the Grasshoppers, with a bases loaded walk in the sixth inning that gave his team the lead for good. He added a two-run double in the eighth inning to make sure there were no doubts.

For Davis, he didn't wait long to make some noise, putting a jolt into the ball in his first at bat. The ball ended up bouncing against the wall, and when the outfielder wasn't able to make a clean play, Davis attempted for an inside the park home run. A great throw got him at the plate, but he showed the pop in his bat from the get go.

Back to back RBI singles in consecutive innings gave Winston-Salem an early 2-0 lead by the end of the third frame. 

It was the Grasshoppers that would respond, scoring a run in each of the next three innings. Jared Triolo hit his 11th home run on the season, a monster shot to left center. Recently recalled Yoyner Fajardo hit an RBI single up the middle to tie the game at two in the fifth inning.

Nick Gonzales ripped a double to left field to lead off the sixth, and he was joined on base by Triolo (walk) and Blake Sabol (reached on fielders choice) before Davis and Lolo Sanchez went down swinging. 

Matthiessen then worked a 10 pitch plate appearance that resulted in a walk that scored Gonzales and gave the Grasshoppers the lead.

Yoelqui Cespedes hit his seventh home run of the season, a two-run shot that put Winston-Salem right back into the game.

But Will Kobos was able to shut the door in the ninth, striking out two, including Lazaro Leal looking to end the game.

It's been a less than ideal first two starts for Domingo Sanchez in High-A, posting a 9.35 ERA in 8 2/3 innings going into the night. He had allowed nine earned runs off of seven home runs in his two outings with Greensboro.

Thursday night was much better for the righty. He pitched six innings, allowing four hits, two runs, three walks while striking out six. The most important stat of the night for Sanchez was the zero home runs he allowed, a big step from his previous two starts.

Greensboro and Winston-Salem will continue their six game series on Friday. The Grasshoppers have Quinn Priester, Carmen Mlodzinski, and Tahnaj Thomas projected to pitch that final three games of the series. The trio are among the best pitching prospects in the Pirates system.

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