Game Notes (April 11)
The Power begins its 2019 home schedule tonight with the first game of a four-game series against the Augusta GreenJackets at Appalachian Power Park. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. RHP Ryne Inman (0-0, 9.00 ERA) makes his second start for the Power.
CHANDLER HURLS QUALITY START IN LOSS: Clay Chandler tossed six quality innings in his second start with the Power, but West Virginia's offense was held to a season-low three hits in a 2-1 loss in the series finale to the Lexington Legends Wednesday morning at Whitaker Bank Ballpark. Chandler mowed through the first four innings on the bump, but ceded a leadoff single to Juan Carlos Negret to begin the fifth. He retired the next two men he faced, but Matt Morales stung an RBI triple into the right-field corner, giving Lexington a 1-0 edge. West Virginia wasted no time in responding though, as Onil Pena reached on an error by Morales to start the sixth. After moving to third on a pair of wild pitches by Jon Heasley, Pena scored on a sacrifice fly from Joseph Rosa, knotting the game at one. Jamal Wade relieved Chandler in the seventh and worked his way around a leadoff walk, but the Legends were able to get to him in the eighth. Jeison Guzman started things with an infield single, and Eric Cole doubled to left-center, plating Guzman and vaulting Lexington ahead, 2-1. Heasley closed out the final four innings for the Legends to pick up the win.
JULIOOOOO: Despite having his six-game hitting streak snapped yesterday, Julio Rodriguez extended his season-opening on-base streak to seven games by working a walk in the first inning. Rodriguez is the team's average leader at .423, as well as tied for the team lead in RBI with three. The 18-year-old is the third player in Power history to start the season with at least a six-game hitting streak. Tito Polo had the longest stretch in 2016, posting a 10-game hitting streak from April 7-18 with a .348 (16-for-46) clip, a home run and six RBI, while Calvin Mitchell had a six-gamer in 2018.
QUALITY CLAY: Chandler spun the Power's first quality start of the season Wednesday morning, allowing one run on five hits with five strikeouts over six innings of work. The Paducah, Kentucky, native hurled eight quality starts in 2018 with the Clinton LumberKings, including five in the second half. West Virginia had 46 quality starts in 2018.
PILING UP THE STRIKEOUTS: The Power struck out eight more batters in Wednesday's series finale, upping their total to 78, which leads the South Atlantic League by four (Hickory Crawdads). With his nine-strikeout performance Tuesday, Logan Gilbert sits in second place in the South Atlantic League with 14 total strikeouts.
KEEPING THE GAME ON LOCKDOWN: West Virginia's bullpen has been quite stellar to start the year. After seven games, the Power's bullpen boasts a 1.19 mark (30.1 IP/4 ER), with six relievers still possessing spotless ERAs. Elias Espino and Wade, who gave up an earned run in 1.2 innings Wednesday, are the only ones to give up earned runs.
IN NEED OF AN ADJUSTMENT: Of the six offensive Power players that are making their full-season debuts in 2019, only two of them are averaging above the Mendoza Line (.200) to start the year (Rodriguez and Ryan Ramiz). The other four seem to be experiencing a bit of growing pains when it comes to facing South Atlantic League pitching, especially Jarred Kelenic. The Mariners' second-best prospect was 0-for-11 in the three-game series against the Legends, and is only 2-for-25 with 11 strikeouts in 2019. Among the others, Charlie McConnell collected his first hit of the year (1-for-17) Wednesday, roping a double to right, while Jake Anchia is 1-for-15 (.077) and Cesar Trejo is 3-for-15 (.200), though he did club his first career home run Tuesday night, a three-run bomb to left-center in the sixth.
THE SLIMMEST OF MARGINS: West Virginia dropped its third one-run decision across its first seven games in 2019 Wednesday. Overall, the Power has had five games decided by one run this season (2-3), with each of their first four games against Greenville coming down to a single tally.
A TRADITION UNLIKE ANY OTHER: The Power welcomes the Augusta GreenJackets to town on Masters Weekend, beginning a four-game series Thursday night at Appalachian Power Park. Last season, West Virginia played some of its most thrilling games against Augusta, including a pair of walk-off winners during their first encounter in early May. Ryan Peurifoy smacked the Power's only walk-off home run of the season May 1 as part of a three-run ninth, while Kyle Watson ended Minor League Baseball's longest game of the season with a base hit in the 15th inning May 3.
POWER POINTS: Through their first seven games, West Virginia has struggled mightily with runners in scoring position. After stranding eight men on base and going 0-for-8 with RISP Wednesday, the Power is averaging .108 (7-for-65), second-worst in the SAL (Columbia, .094)... Kelenic committed the Power's ninth error of the season, lowering West Virginia's fielding percentage to .964, tied for fifth-worst in the league... Rodriguez grounded into the Power's seventh and eighth double plays of the season. Conversely, West Virginia has only turned five double plays in the field.
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South Atlantic League Stories from April 11, 2019
- Inman Powers West Virginia Past Augusta in Home Opener - West Virginia Power
- Crowd of 8,000-Plus Pours into Riley Park for Home Opener as Grasshoppers Shutout RiverDogs - Charleston RiverDogs
- Drive Drop Road Opener to Braves in Extras - Greenville Drive
- Knight Shines, Turchin Goes Yard as 'Birds Win Opener - Delmarva Shorebirds
- Legends Swat Fireflies with 14-3 Victory in Game One - Lexington Legends
- 'Dads Tie Strikeout Mark in Win over Kannapolis - Hickory Crawdads
- Augusta Shutout for the 2nd Time in 2019 - Augusta GreenJackets
- Sharp Blasts First Homer of Season in Lexington - Columbia Fireflies
- Five-Run First Launches Suns to Win - Hagerstown Suns
- Tourists Drop Second Straight in Road Trip Opener - Asheville Tourists
- Fireflies Game Notes: April 11 at Lexington (Game 7) - Columbia Fireflies
- Game Notes (April 11) - West Virginia Power
- Hagerstown Suns Game Notes - Hagerstown Suns
- Offense Erupts in 9-8 Win over Greenville - Augusta GreenJackets
- Maciver Homers in Third Straight Game But T's Come up Short - Asheville Tourists
- Drive Outslugged by GreenJackets on Wednesday - Greenville Drive
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