The talk around the Williamsport Crosscutters lately has centered around Roman Quinn and Cameron Perkins. And with good reason as both players have been on a hot streak.
But, after Monday's game against Jamestown, it might be time to add another name to the list.
Kyle Hoppy, batting behind Quinn, went 2 for 2 with two doubles as the Crosscutters opened a three-game series against Jamestown with a 6-2 win at Bowman Field.
"He's a nice guy to hit behind Quinn," Cutters manager Andy Tracy said. "He can drive the ball and run a little bit. He also plays really good defense in center field."
Williamsport also was the beneficiary of a solid performance from starter Josh Warner, who scattered two hits over six innings to go with four strikeouts.
"Warner had fastball command, worked fast and got ahead of hitters," Tracy said. "You can't the leave the ball over the zone against a team like that and I thought he did a really good job tonight."
The Crosscutters, which have won seven of the their last 11 games, received another boost from the top of the lineup. Each of the first four hitters managed to get a hit, with Hoppy's two doubles leading the way.
From the leadoff spot, Quinn, since returning from a weight training accident, has converted 10 of his last 11 stolen base attempts, while Cameron Perkins, who has batted in seven runs in his last 10 games, is batting .389 over that span. And both continued that form in Monday's contest.
Quinn reached safely to open the game when a slow rolling ground ball was mishandled at shortstop. Quinn then turned the opportunity into exactly that as he stole second two pitches into the next at-bat. Quinn added a single in the seventh and later scored when Hoppy connected with his second double of the night.
"You always want to have people on base when you're up," Hoppy said. "When Quinn's on first you just have to give him a chance to get to second, because you know he's going to get there. It's always a good spot to be in to hit. I see a heck of a lot more fastballs when he's on first. If they throw a breaking ball he's going to second."
After a Hoppy walk and Quinn steal, Perkins continued to stay hot as he ripped an RBI single down the left-field line to score Quinn and give the Cutters a quick 1-0 lead.
"It's my job to get on base and let them hit me in," Hoppy said. "It's a real good position for me right now."
Perkins' RBI single, which gave him eight RBIs in his last 11 games, marked the ninth time in the last 12 games the Cutters have scored first.
"It's very important for these kids," Tracy said of scoring the first run. "Tonight, Jamestown made some errors that helps us, but I thought we were aggressive the whole way around. I was pleased with the energy and effort they came out with."
Mitch Walding kept the offense going in the first following Perkins' single with a double to score Hoppy. Olmo then capped the five-run surge with a two-RBI single into the left-center field gap.
"It's huge, because it gives that confidence on the mound to get ahead and stay ahead," Warner said of the five-run first. "Even if you give up a few runs all you have to do is throw strikes and you can get out of it with the lead."
The hometown crowd seemed to spark the Cutters back to life after dropping their last two road games.
Warner responded to Williamsport's big first inning by getting the next seven batters out before an error at short in the fifth ended the streak. Warner, who got first-pitch strikes to 11 of the 21 batters he faced, fanned Rony Peralta to end the inning.
"Just from a numbers standpoint, getting ahead by one strike is better than being behind one ball," Warner said. "It give you that confidence that the hitter is a hole. They are going to start thinking about what's coming next."
Jamestown's offense, which sputtered most of the night thanks to Warner's efforts, rallied for a run in the seventh and eighth innings.
Matt Juengel lined a double down the left-field line and later scored when Jose Behar connected with the Jammers second double of the seventh inning.