Game Notes (April 16)
The Power plays the middle match of a three-game series against the Lakewood BlueClaws tonight at Appalachian Power Park, with first pitch set for 7:05 p.m. RHP Clay Chandler (0-0, 0.82 ERA) toes the slab for West Virginia.
PENA WALKS IT OFF IN 11 INNINGS: Onil Pena came through with a walk-off RBI single in the 11th inning to give West Virginia a 5-4 comeback win over the Lakewood BlueClaws Monday evening at Appalachian Power Park. Logan Gilbert shined in his home debut for the Power, working five innings for the second straight start and allowing just two hits, though one was a 420-foot blemish on Ben Pelletier's solo shot that gave the BlueClaws a 1-0 lead in the fourth. Lakewood would extend their lead in the sixth on a wild pitch from Bryan Pall, but West Virginia would respond in the home half off the inning against new reliever Tyler McKay. After the first three batters reached via two walks and a single, Jarred Kelenic and Pena came through with back-to-back RBI groundouts to tie the game at two. Both teams traded zeroes through the final three innings of regulation, as well as a run each in the 10th. The BlueClaws jumped back in front in the top of the 11th on an RBI double by Alec Bohm, but Kelenic answered with his own run-scoring double in the bottom of the frame to knot the score at four, setting the stage for Pena's heroics. Ben Onyshko picked up the win after spinning the final two innings and ceding two unearned runs on one hit while striking out four batters.
WALK OFF WINNERS: Pena tallied West Virginia's first walk-off win of the season with his 11th-inning RBI knock, giving the Power their first walk-off win since July 6, 2018, when Oneil Cruz down Lexington in extra frames with a base hit to left. Overall, West Virginia is 1-2 in walk-offs in 2019 and 2-3 in last at-bat wins.
EXTRA, EXTRA: The Power played extra innings for the third time this season Monday night, securing their second win (2-1) in their longest game of the season. West Virginia also downed Greenville, 1-0, in 10 innings on Opening Night in South Carolina. The Power has been a part of the third-most extra innings in the South Atlantic League this year at 3.2 (Hickory, 5.0 and Greensboro, 4.0). West Virginia was 6-8 in extra-inning affairs last season.
GILLY, GILLY: Gilbert has continued to impress in his inaugural Minor League season. Through his first three starts in the Minor League, the Stetson product has given up just one run on five hits over 14 innings of work while striking out 22 batters compared to three walks. Opposing batters are hitting just .109 against the right-hander. Gilbert's 22 strikeouts are the most on the Power, as well as the third-most in the South Atlantic League (Shawn Semple, 26, Charleston, S.C.)
PILING UP THE STRIKEOUTS: The Power struck out 19 more batters Monday afternoon, equaling their season-high that they set on April 6 at Greenville. The 19 punchouts upped their season total to 132, which is tied for the most in the South Atlantic League (Delmarva Shorebirds). West Virginia has not struck out more than 19 batters in a contest since April 9, 2017, when they set down 20 Rome Braves. Three of West Virginia's five starters are amongst the top 11 strikeouts leaders in the league, with Gilbert in third (22), Steven Moyers tied for sixth (17) and Ryne Inman tied for 11th (15). West Virginia's arms have compiled 54 strikeouts during the first four games of this homestand.
KELENIC STARTING TO KELE-CLICK: Kelenic has busted of his road woes in a major way in the first four games of this homestand against Augusta and Lakewood, averaging .438 (7-for-16) with a home run, two doubles and five RBIs. The Mariners' second-best prospect per MLB.com and Baseball America stroked his first South Atlantic League home run Friday, blasting one 369 feet to right-center field in the fifth inning for his seventh career Minor League homer, and his first since August 23, 2018. He recorded his first two RBI of the season and posted West Virginia's third three-hit game of the year Thursday. Prior to this homestand, Kelenic was mired in an 0-for-11 slump and started the year 2-for-25.
STRUGGLING TO CONVERT: Through their first 11 games, West Virginia has struggled mightily with runners in scoring position. West Virginia went 2-for-10 with RISP Monday evening, stranding six men on base. As a team, the Power is averaging .145 (16-for-110), second-worst in the SAL (Columbia Fireflies, .142 [16-for-113]).
TIP OF THE CAP TO THE HATTER: Onyshko picked up his first South Atlantic League win with two scoreless frames out of the bullpen, allowing just the placed on runners to score in both the 10th and 11th innings while giving up one hit and striking out a career-high four batters. The former Hatter has not surrendered an earned run over his first 11 innings of 2019, spanning four games, during which he has fanned 11 batters compared to one walk. Onyshko did not give up an earned run in eight of his final 10 outings with the Everett AquaSox (Short-Season, Seattle) in 2018.
POWER POINTS: Pall struck out a career-best five batters in his third career appearance last night... Nolan Hoffman has yet to give up an earned run in his first 4.2 innings... Cesar Trejo swiped his second stolen base of the year.
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