Game Notes (April 23)
The Power goes for the series win in the middle match against the Columbia Fireflies this evening at Appalachian Power Park, with first pitch set for 7:05 p.m. RHP Ryne Inman (2-0, 3.00 ERA) takes the hill for West Virginia.
POWER BLANKS FIREFLIES IN OPENER: Clay Chandler dazzled for the third straight start, tossing five scoreless innings and striking out a career-high 10 batters, while the Power offense put the game away with a four-run third inning in a 5-0 shutout win over the Columbia Fireflies Monday evening at Appalachian Power Park. Chandler only faced two batters above the minimum over his five shutout frames and did not walk a batter. The Paducah, Kentucky, native gave up just two hits, a first-inning single to Mark Vientos and a fifth-inning knock to Zach Rheams. West Virginia provided Chandler all the offense he needed in the second and third innings. Cesar Trejo ignited the scoring with an RBI double that plated Jake Anchia in the second for a 1-0 lead. In the third, Charlie McConnell led off the inning with a laced triple into the right-field corner, the first three-bagger of the year for the Power. Jarred Kelenic went the opposite way to left-center with an RBI single to bring in McConnell, while Onil Pena promptly doubled in Kelenic for a 3-0 edge. After Ryan Ramiz flew out to left, Joseph Rosa deposited a two-run, 382-foot bomb to right-center, his first home run of the year, to extend the lead to 5-0. The West Virginia bullpen shut the door over the final four innings, as David Ellingson, Elias Espino and Nolan Hoffman ceded two hits and struck out four to preserve the shutout victory.
HANGING ZEROES: West Virginia posted its fourth shutout win of the season in Monday's series opener. The Power are tied for the most shutout wins across all of Minor League Baseball with four other teams (Altoona, Double-A, Pittsburgh; Fort Myers, High-A, Minnesota; Greensboro, Low-A, Pittsburgh and Pensacola, Double-A, Cincinnati). West Virginia is one of three teams in the league that have not been shut out this season (Kannapolis and Lakewood).
GOING STREAKING: Three Power players have been on a tear recently, all holding hitting streaks of six games or longer. Here are the details on arguably the three hottest hitters in the West Virginia lineup:
- Jarred Kelenic: 10-game hitting streak (dating back to April 11): 20-for-41 (.488) with two home runs, six doubles and 12 RBI; 11-game on-base streak dating back to April 10; Average has increased to .317 (+237 points); Kelenic's streak is currently tied with former Power player Lolo Sanchez (Greensboro Grasshoppers) for the second-longest streak in the South Atlantic League this season (Justin Dean, 12, Rome Braves), and the longest active streak in the league.
- Onil Pena: 9-game hitting streak (dating back to April 12): 14-for-33 (.424) with a home run, 11 RBI and five runs.
- Cesar Izturis Jr.: 6-game hitting streak (dating back to April 12): .550 (11-for-20) with six RBI and five multi-hit games.
UNTOUCHABLE: Chandler turned in his fourth consecutive start of five innings or more Monday night and matched his strikeout total from his previous three outings with a career-high 10. The righty is the first Power pitcher to record double digit strikeouts in an appearance this season, and the first since Travis MacGregor (12) on April 6, 2018, vs. GVL. Chandler's 0.41 ERA is second-best in the South Atlantic League (Osvaldo Bido, Greensboro, 0.40 ERA) and fifth-lowest in all of Low-A baseball. The 2017 free agent signee has not allowed a run over his last 12 innings of work.
PILING UP THE STRIKEOUTS: West Virginia's pitching staff set down 14 batters via the strikeout last night, upping their season total to 177, third-highest in the South Atlantic League (Charleston RiverDogs, 197; Delmarva Shorebirds, 189). The arms struck out double-digit batters for the 10th time this season, finishing five shy of their season-high (19, 2x).
THE LONG BALL: Rosa hit his first home run of the season to cap a four-run third inning for West Virginia Monday night, the most runs they have scored in the third inning in any game this year. The blast was the 15th long ball of Rosa's career, and his first since August 18, 2018, with Low-A Clinton. The Power now have 10 home runs on the season, eighth-best in the South Atlantic League, with Anchia, Bobby Honeyman and Kelenic all possessing two each.
OFFENSE FINDING ITS RHYTHM: Monday's 5-0 win marks the sixth straight game that West Virginia has scored at least five runs (seven, with the suspended game factored in). The Power is 6-2 when reaching the five-run plateau in 2019.
POWER POINTS: Rosa has reached base in 13 of the 15 games he has played in this season... West Virginia's hurlers did not issue a walk in a game for the second time this season... The Power went 3-for-12 with RISP, stranding six men on base... West Virginia is 8-3 overall at Appalachian Power Park against the Columbia Fireflies in series history... McConnell posted the second triple of his career Monday night... Hoffman has still yet to allow an earned run in six games.
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South Atlantic League Stories from April 23, 2019
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