Results tagged ‘ Greg Ross ’

The Coldest Game

Will Bentzel / Harrisburg Senators

With the unseasonably warm April, it might be easy to forget how bitterly cold it was just two short weeks ago for Opening Night at FNB Field. The temperature that Friday never dipped below 40 degrees on the scoreboard, but the 20 miles per hour winds cut through everything you were wearing and chilled you to the bone. Players relied on portable heaters in the dugout, hand warmers, lots of layers, and pretty much anything to stay as warm as possible. Outfielder Andrew Stevenson remarked that it was the coldest game he could ever remember playing in.

But not everyone in the home dugout agreed with Stevenson.

Manager Matt LeCroy remembers cold weather being the norm in places like Rochester and Edmonton during his playing career. “Rochester was cold the longest. I don’t like wearing sleeves and I wore sleeves that year for what felt like the whole year. It was cold all of the time,” LeCroy said. He points to Opening Day 2007 in Rochester as the coldest game he ever played in. “We played a day game at 1 o’clock and I think it started around 37 degrees. It was below freezing by the end of the game,” he said. “They almost called the game.”

It wouldn’t have been a new experience for LeCroy as he remembers that happening too. “We got cancelled because it was too cold in Edmonton. It was sunny with clear skies,” he said. “Two days in a row, we got ‘colded’ out.”

Pitcher Greg Ross grew up in Maryland and went to Frostburg State located in the Allegheny Mountains on the eastern slope of Big Savage Mountain so he’s used to playing in the cold. “I think my senior year of college we had five home games,” Ross said. “It was a full season of that weather.”

“It’s funny seeing the southern guys come up and say this is cold,” he said. “Nah, this is a good day up here.”

Even the grounds crew and front office staff remember a colder game just three short years ago. A Wednesday morning matinee at then Metro Bank Park was delayed for 46 minutes while the field thawed out and the first pitch temperature rose to 34 degrees. The grounds crew chipped away ice from the edges of the playing surface for what was and is the coldest start-time temperature team officials can remember.

Pitching coach Chris Michalak grew up in Joliet, Illinois, attended Notre Dame, and played in numerous “cold weather” cities during his minor league journey including Edmonton. So when he has stories about cold games, you just turn on the tape recorder and let him go.

“I remember we played at Purdue in March and it’s no fun,” he recalled his college days. “The worst is in the bullpen because you would be freezing and then they expect you get loose. There would be times when I could not feel my finger because I would have it outside my glove. It hurt so badly every time the ball would come back to me. The worst thing is to sit down there, with no cover, and it’s drizzling. We didn’t have heaters at that time. You’re just down there shivering.”

“There were many times when I sat down there re-evaluating what I was doing.”

As for the coldest game he played in though? That’s an easy answer for Michalak. “I pitched one time in Colorado Springs,” he said. “There was frozen sleet and the wind chill was in the 20s. It was miserable. My toes were cold. I couldn’t feel anything. I have real bad circulation too so there were times I couldn’t feel the ball.”

“I remember the guys were giving me a hard time because I wore a mask on the mound,” Michalak said. “I didn’t care. It was freezing.”

 

Senators Roster Moves: Greg Ross promoted to Syracuse, RC Orlan up from Potomac

Greg Ross will get his first taste of Triple-A after a promotion to Syracuse (Samuel Getty / Harrisburg Senators)

Prior to Wednesday’s game against Hartford, right-handed pitcher Greg Ross was promoted to Syracuse. For Ross, it marks his first time at Triple-A in his seven year professional career. The 27-year old was 2-0 with a 3.27 ERA in two starts with the Senators in 2017.

The corresponding move for Harrisburg was the assignment of reliever RC Orlan to the Senators. The southpaw was 5-6 with a 3.36 ERA in 52 appearances with the Potomac Nationals over parts of the last three seasons.

Picking up right where he left off, Greg Ross twirls another gem

Photo courtesy Samuel Getty / Harrisburg Senators

When Greg Ross was promoted to Harrisburg last year, few knew what to expect from the right-hander taking a spot in the Senators’ rotation. After all, Ross found himself on an independent ball team in New Jersey after getting released from the Baltimore Orioles’ organization and had made just ten appearances with the Potomac Nationals since signing with Washington in late April.

No one saw coming the historic run of outings that Ross managed to string together over a month and a half last summer.

In his first four starts, the Maryland native tossed seven scoreless innings each time out. In fact, Ross began his tenure with the Senators setting a modern day record for the club throwing 30 consecutive innings without allowing a run. Ross yielded runs in only four of the 54 innings he pitched for Harrisburg on his way to a 5-1 record and 0.83 ERA.

Making his season debut Monday night at FNB field, it was more of the same from the 27-year-old pitcher: Greg Ross just doing Greg Ross things.

The Frostburg State product mastered the Hartford Yard Goats lineup scattering three hits over six scoreless innings while striking out five and walking none. He needed only 63 pitches in the effort as he poured in strike after quality strike to stay ahead in the count and in command all evening.

“He’s able to throw the ball over the plate and get people out in the strike zone. He’s challenging hitters and that’s what you have to do if you want to pitch at higher levels,” pitching coach Chris Michalak said. “Greg does a very good job of missing barrels.”

Maturity and attitude are as much a part of Ross’s success as execution. “I feel comfortable in my own skin. In throwing all of my pitches for strikes and competing,” Ross said. “That’s been my factor as a pitcher, going out and laying it all out there every time I get the ball.”

To give you an idea of the competitor that Ross is, manager Matt LeCroy points to the pitcher’s at-bat in the second inning with two outs and a runner on third base. The lifetime .122 hitter worked to a 2-1 count, fouled off three straight pitches, and then drove a Luis Niebla offering into the right-centerfield gap for a stand-up double. One pitch later Ross coasted home with another run on an Andrew Stevenson single to push the Senators’ lead out to 3-0. “I was just trying to make contact with a man on third,” Ross said. “Any time you can do that to help the team out and help your cause it’s definitely a fun thing.”

“The biggest thing is taking it easy around the bases. I figure if I hit it farther or in the gaps I don’t have to run as hard.”

That’s probably a smart idea from Ross whose 2016 season was interrupted when he suffered an injury in Altoona trying to beat out an infield single on July 17. He did manage to come back and throw a pair of one-inning appearances during the last week of the season though to end on a high note. “(Trainer) Eric (Montague) and the guys did a really good job getting me back healthy and to head into winter ball finishing out the season in October and November,” Ross said. “That was big for me.”

Ross quickly re-signed with the Nationals and says he couldn’t be happier staying in the organization. “I know he’s disappointed coming back to Double-A, but like I told him in spring training if you look at the history of the Nationals and Harrisburg a lot of guys went straight to the big leagues from here,” LeCroy said. “(Nationals’ General Manager) Mike Rizzo met with all of the coaches at the end of spring training and told us they’ll pull from anywhere so just make sure you have them ready.”

If Ross keeps putting up the numbers in Harrisburg he has, he’ll be impossible to ignore.

How Sweep It Is, Sens Take Two on Tuesday

Ross tosses shutout in Game 1; Bats explode in Game 2

Game 1 Highlights

Game 2 Highlights

The Harrisburg Senators swept a doubleheader, 1-0 and 10-3, over the Erie SeaWolves in front of 2,345 fans on Tuesday evening. Harrisburg (44-39) ended their longest losing streak of the season at five games with the pair of victories.

In the first game of the twinbill, the Senators were held to just one hit but prevailed 1-0 as Greg Ross twirled a gem to outpitch Erie’s Jason Collier. Ross (4-1) induced 13 ground ball outs on his way to a seven-inning complete game shutout where the right-hander allowed five singles and struck out three. Ross lowered his ERA with Harrisburg to a minuscule 0.44 on the season.

“Ross did a nice job. He gave us a really good effort,” manager Matt LeCroy said. “Anytime you win with one hit, it’s good.”

The Senators plated the game’s only run in the second inning when Neftali Soto tripled past a diving Connor Harrell in center field. The next batter, Drew Ward, scored Soto with an RBI groundout for what turned out to be the game-winner. Soto was the only Senator batter to reach base the whole game as the first baseman also walked in his other plate appearance.

In the nightcap, the Senators drew first blood as they scored two-run first inning runs as Erie pitcher Cal Drummond committed both a fielding and throwing error on the same play.

Andrew Robinson walked the tightrope over three innings of work as he made a spot start, his first since 2011, after making his last 193 appearances in relief. The right-hander allowed three hits and walked four, but kept the SeaWolves off the scoreboard as he worked out of bases loaded jams in two frames.

“Robby had some traffic every inning but did a nice job putting up zeroes,” LeCroy said. “We took advantage of some errors and we had some much better at-bats.”

Wilmer Difo broke the nightcap open with a bases-loaded single in the 4th inning (Will Bentzel / MiLB)

Wilmer Difo broke the nightcap open with a bases-loaded single in the 4th inning (Will Bentzel / MiLB)

Erie scratched across a run off reliever Ryan Brinley in the fourth inning, but Harrisburg responded with a five-spot in the bottom half. Three straight singles by Ward, Kevin Keyes, and Shawn Pleffner pushed the Senators’ advantage back to two runs. After Pleffner scored on a Stephen Perez swinging bunt, Wilmer Difo broke the game open with a bases loaded single that plated two. Isaac Ballou followed with another RBI single that made the tally 7-1 in Harrisburg’s favor.

Corey Jones belted a two-run home run off Brinley, but 7-3 was the closest the SeaWolves would get as Senators’ catcher Nick Rickles answered with a two-run home run of his own and Keyes lifted a sacrifice fly to finalize the scoring. The Senators’ 12-hit attack was led by Ballou who had three base knocks while Rafael Bautista and Difo each had a pair.

Wander Suero pocketed his first win of the season with one inning of scoreless relief.

Harrisburg continues their series with the SeaWolves on Wednesday evening at 7:00 p.m. at FNB Field. The Senators will send Boone Whiting to the mound to square off against Josh Turley from Erie. Bring your used baseball glove to donate to Baseball Miracles and receive $5 off one box or field box ticket; also, all four-legged friends are welcome at the park as the Senators host Wet Nose Wednesday. The game can be heard on Fox Sports 1460 AM, on the internet at senatorsbaseball.com, or through the TuneIn and iHeart Radio apps with The Matt LeCroy Show beginning the radio broadcast at 6:45 p.m.

Ross Strong Again but Sens Fall 8-0

Greg Ross sees consecutive inning scoreless streak snapped

Video Highlights

Jayson Aquino and Jimmy Yacabonis shut down the Harrisburg Senators to propel the Bowie Baysox to a 8-0 victory in front of 5,078 fans. A day after pounding out 13 runs on 15 hits, the Senators were held to just two singles during the afternoon matinee.

Harrisburg starter Greg Ross extended his scoreless innings streak to 30 before allowing a pair of runs in the third inning. Despite collaring his first loss with the Senators, the 26-year old right-hander still tossed a quality start in the effort. Ross (3-1) scattered eight hits and allowed three runs while striking out two.

The Senators best chance came in the bottom of the fourth inning when they loaded the bases on two walks and a Kevin Keyes single with nobody out. But Aquino struck out Shawn Pleffner on three pitches and induced the rally-killing double play off the bat of Nick Rickles to end the threat.

“We had a big spot with the bases loaded, but didn’t get anything,” manager Matt LeCroy said. “I think that gave Aquino some momentum and he took off. He pitched well, but we had our chances and our at-bats became not so good from that point on.”

“I just feel like when you get a guy on the ropes, you have to get him right there.”

Harrisburg (42-35) managed only two more baserunners, walks to Keyes and Drew Ward, the rest of the way. Neftali Soto, Keyes, and Ward were the only Senators to reach base twice and Rickles accounted for the team’s other base hit.

Kevin Keyes had one of the Senators' two hits on Wednesday afternoon. (Will Bentzel / MiLB)

Kevin Keyes had one of the Senators’ two hits on Wednesday afternoon. (Will Bentzel / MiLB)

In relief, Derek Self allowed a solo home run to Drew Dosch to push the lead to 4-0, but the big blow came in the ninth off Wander Suero. Two walks and a single loaded the bases for Henry Urrutia who deposited the first pitch he saw into the left field seats for a grand slam and insurmountable eight-run lead.

“The way it is set up now is that guys are going to be pitching in way more stressful spots,” LeCroy said about his bullpen situation. “There are going to have to be other guys that have to step up and do it. It’s a true test to see what you got.”

Harrisburg heads to Berks County to begin a weekend matchup against the Reading Fightin’ Phils. Boone Whiting will make his first start for the Senators opposed by Ricardo Pinto at FirstEnergy Stadium with a scheduled start time on Thursday of 7:05 p.m. The game can be heard on Fox Sports 1460 AM, on the internet at senatorsbaseball.com, or through the TuneIn and iHeart Radio apps with The Matt LeCroy Show beginning the radio broadcast at 6:50 p.m.

Ross Dazzles as Senators Shutout Reading 2-0

Video Highlights

Greg Ross continued posting zeroes and the Harrisburg Senators generated enough offense to top the Reading Fightin’ Phils, 2-0, in front of 6,273 fans at FNB Field. The win snapped Reading’s 11-game winning streak.

Ross (3-0) once again dazzled for Harrisburg as the right-hander went another seven shutout innings. Ross allowed three hits and two walks while striking out five, none bigger than his final batter with the tying run at third base. That baserunner, Rhys Hoskins, was the only Fightin’ Phil to advance past first base off Ross. He has now thrown 21 scoreless innings to begin his tenure with the Senators.

“It’s pretty amazing. He’s attacking both sides of the plate. He’s pitching backwards by mixing in good changeups and breaking balls,” manager Matt LeCroy said. “If you can do that against this lineup, it’s pretty impressive.”

Harrisburg (36-31) gave Ross an early lead when Neftali Soto doubled home Wilmer Difo from second base in the bottom of the third inning. The Senators tacked on an insurance run in the seventh when Isaac Ballou came off the bench to deliver a pinch-hit single that plated Spencer Kieboom.

Koda Glover was filthy in recording the final four outs (Will Bentzel/MiLB.com)

Koda Glover was filthy in recording the final four outs (Will Bentzel/MiLB.com)

Reliever Wander Suero retired both Reading batters he faced before deferring to closer Koda Glover. Glover struck out two over 1.1 perfect innings to earn his fourth save with Harrisburg.

“I thought he (Glover) was sharp last night, tonight was even better and he had to face their guys,” LeCroy said.

Besides scoring both of the Senators’ runs, Difo and Kieboom were the only batters with two hits for Harrisburg. Chris Bostick and Zach Collier also safely reached base twice as each recorded a hit and walk.

Harrisburg concludes their weekend series with the rubber match against the Fightin’ Phils on Sunday afternoon at 1:30 p.m. as Reynaldo Lopez heads to the hill opposed by Ricardo Pinto. Before the game fans have the opportunity to play catch on the field and once the final out is recorded kids 12 and under can run the bases. The first 1,000 men 18 and older will also receive a Senators necktie courtesy of Andrews and Patel, Hematology and Oncology Consultants of PA, Holy Spirit Hospital – a Geisinger Affiliate, Urology of Central PA and the PA Prostate Cancer Coalition. The game can be heard on Fox Sports 1460 AM, on the internet at senatorsbaseball.com, or through the TuneIn and iHeart Radio apps with The Matt LeCroy Show beginning the radio broadcast at 1:15 p.m.

Ross Dominates Again, Senators Win 4-0

Video Highlights

Behind another impressive outing from Greg Ross and enough offense from the heart of the order, the Harrisburg Senators completed the series sweep of the Akron RubberDucks with a 4-0 victory on Monday evening. The win notched the Senators’ first four-game sweep since August 2011 and sent the RubberDucks to their ninth consecutive defeat.

In his second start with Harrisburg, Ross (2-0) continued posting zeroes on the scoreboard. The 26-year-old twirled seven scoreless innings, allowing three hits and three walks while matching his career-high with eight strikeouts. Between Potomac and Harrisburg, Ross has allowed only two runs over 36.1 innings while starting this season.

“Akron has one of the best offensive teams when everything is clicking and I thought he attacked them, slowed it up, and got early contact,” manager Matt LeCroy said. “It just shows that if you throw it over and get strike one, you can basically do what you want.”

Chris Bostick fell a home run short of the Senators' first cycle since 2007 (Will Bentzel / MiLB)

Chris Bostick fell a home run short of the Senators’ first cycle since 2007 (Will Bentzel / MiLB)

For the third straight game, the Senators (34-28) reached double digits in hits as the team rapped out ten base knocks. Chris Bostick fell a home run short of the cycle as the second baseman went 3-for-4 with three runs driven in. “I think he’s staying in the zone. He’s using the whole field. He’s swinging at strikes. Even the ones he’s swinging and missing are balls over the plate,” LeCroy said. “He just has a pretty consistent approach all of the time. It’s really helping him be successful.”

Hitting ahead of Bostick in the lineup, Neftali Soto also went 3-for-4 with two runs scored. Cutter Dysktra was the only other Senator to reach base three times with two singles and a walk.

Wander Suero struggled finding the strike zone in relief of Ross. A hit batsman and two walks sandwiched between a couple of outs loaded the bases for Akron before Koda Glover was summoned from the bullpen. Glover induced an inning-ending fly ball to center field and then worked a scoreless ninth inning for his third save as a Senator.

Harrisburg embarks on a short three-game set against the Thunder at Arm & Hammer Park in Trenton. Reynaldo Lopez squ ares off against Vicente Campos with first pitch scheduled for 7:00 p.m. The game can be heard on Fox Sports 1460 AM, on the internet at senatorsbaseball.com, or through the TuneIn and iHeart Radio apps with The Matt LeCroy Show beginning the radio broadcast at 6:45 p.m.

Ross Tosses Gem, Senators win 5-3

Video Highlights

Harrisburg Senators’ starting pitcher Greg Ross made quite the first impression on his new teammates and the 2,275 fans at FNB Field on Tuesday night. Promoted from Potomac on Monday, Ross was masterful in shutting down the potent Hartford Yard Goats’ lineup on the way to the Senators’ 5-3 victory.

Harrisburg (30-26) got to Hartford pitcher German Marquez early as they rapped out nine hits in the first three innings. The Senators pushed two across in the first frame on a wild pitch that scored Rafael Bautista and a 6-4-3 double play that plated Wilmer Difo.

The Senators tacked on a run in each of the next two innings with both rallies coming entirely with two outs. Wilmer Difo tripled home Bautista in the second and Shawn Pleffner drove in Kevin Keyes with a single in the third frame.

“I thought we had some good at-bats in the first couple of innings,” Senators’ manager Matt LeCroy said.

But the story of the night was the Senators’ debut of Ross (1-0) who spun seven scoreless innings on an efficient 76 pitches. The 26-year-old right-hander allowed only three hits and one walk while striking out two.

“I feel like I’ve been pitching confidently with all four of my pitches for strikes,” Ross said. “Me and (Spencer) Kieboom were on the same page tonight, so it was good. I read swings a little but, but at the same time he’s reading stuff. He called a good game tonight.”

Spencer Kieboom received high praise from manager Matt LeCroy and Greg Ross for his pitch-calling on Tuesday night.

Spencer Kieboom received high praise from manager Matt LeCroy and Greg Ross for his pitch-calling on Tuesday night.

Wander Suero and Nick Lee matched up in the eighth inning to throw a scoreless frame for Harrisburg.

Hartford made things interesting in the ninth inning off closer Koda Glover. The Yard Goats spoiled the shutout bid and plated three runs before Glover struck out pinch-hitter Rosell Herrera, who represented the tying run, to end the game.

LeCroy shouldered the blame for Glover’s outing, “That’s my fault. The guy can’t go that long without pitching.” Glover last pitched five days ago. “He was super strong. I don’t like to see anybody sit that long. You could tell that tonight.”

Harrisburg’s 10-hit attack was led by Chris Bostick who went 2-for-4 with a solo home run, his third long ball of the season. Keyes and Difo were the other Senators with multi-hit games as they both notched two hits apiece.

The Senators and Yard Goats continue their three-game set on Wednesday evening at 7:00 p.m. with Harrisburg sending Reynaldo Lopez to the mound. The game can be heard on Fox Sports 1460 AM, on the internet at senatorsbaseball.com, or through the TuneIn and iHeart Radio apps with The Matt LeCroy Show beginning the radio broadcast at 6:45 p.m.