'Birds Pounce on Power Miscues
SALISBURY, MD - The Delmarva Shorebirds capped off a raucous homestand by thumping the West Virginia Power 8-3 on Wednesday night at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium.
Gray Fenter (7-2) picked up the win for the Shorebirds (33-18, 81-39). Fenter went five innings, allowing two runs on four hits and two walks while collecting three strikeouts. Devin Sweet (7-5) was saddled with the loss for the Power (25-27, 62-60) after going six innings and allowing four runs (three earned) on seven hits while not issuing a walk and striking out four. Jhon Peluffo picked up his fifth save for Delmarva with two scoreless innings, striking out two.
Unlike Tuesday night's barnburner, the bats stayed silent until West Virginia struck in the fourth. Julio Rodriguez walked to begin the frame and moved to second on a wild pitch. Austin Shenton then lined a single to center, moving Rodriguez to third. Dean Nevarez opened the scoring by lacing an RBI double to left, sending Shenton to third. DeAires Moses then lofted a sacrifice fly to center, staking the Power to a 2-0 edge.
In the fifth, Delmarva rallied to take the lead. Shayne Fontana beat out an infield single to start the frame and then moved to second on a flyout to center. Alexis Torres brought Fontana in as he blasted a double to left, cutting the Delmarva deficit to 2-1. Cody Roberts followed with an RBI single up the middle to tie the game. Jean Carlos Encarnacion kept the line moving with a line drive single to left, but the throw back in to second from left was wild, allowing Roberts to score and sending Encarnacion into second with the Shorebirds now ahead 3-2. Johnny Rizer capped the inning by fisting a grounder into center, scoring Encarnacion and giving Delmarva a 4-2 advantage.
West Virginia made it just a one-run game in the seventh. Charlie McConnell rocketed a double to left to start the inning and Nick Rodriguez was then hit by a pitch to put two on. After a flyout, Matt Sanders roped a single to load the bases. Julio Rodriguez then bounced out to short to bring home a run and bring the Power to within 4-3. With men now at second and third and two away, Matt De La Rosa struck out Shenton to end the frame and earn his league-leading 11th hold of the season.
Delmarva blew the game open in the eighth. With one away, Adam Hall singled to right and then, despite being picked off first, was able to escape the pickle on an error to reach second safely. A wild pitch then sent Hall to third as Ryne Ogren proceeded to draw a walk. Seamus Curran came through in the clutch with a base knock to right, scoring Hall and moving Ogren to third. Fontana followed by slashing a two-run double into the left field corner, taking third on the throw home, and putting the Shorebirds up 7-3. Torres then grounded to short, but the throw to first was wild, allowing a run to score and letting Torres reach first safely with Delmarva now ahead 8-3, a more than conferrable margin for Peluffo to finish the game.
In his Shorebirds debut, Fontana proved to be a sparkplug, going 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs plus two runs scored. Roberts went 3-for-4, picking up an RBI and run scored while Rizer went 2-for-4 with an RBI.
Shenton racked up nearly half of West Virginia's hits, going 3-for-4 with a run scored.
The 81st win for the Shorebirds puts them in a tie with the 1998 ballclub (81-61) for the second-most wins in a single-season in franchise history.
The Shorebirds now hit the road for a four game-set against the Lakewood BlueClaws beginning Thursday night. Drew Rom (6-2, 2.63) makes the start for Delmarva while Lakewood counters with Dominic Pipkin (3-4, 5.62). First pitch from FirstEnergy Park is slated for 7:05 p.m., and pregame coverage on Fox Sports 960 AM and the MiLB First Pitch App begins at 6:50 with Will DeBoer on the call.
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