Game Notes (August 11)
The Power concludes their four-game series with the Lakewood BlueClaws this afternoon at FirstEnergy Park, with first pitch set for 7:05 p.m. RHP Josias De Los Santos (3-6, 4.91 ERA) toes the rubber for West Virginia, while RHP Francisco Morales (1-5, 4.14 ERA) takes the mound for Lakewood. Full game notes are attached and below.
EARLY OFFENSE PLUNGES POWER IN 7-1 LOSS: West Virginia's offense never got going and Lakewood used a five-run second to knock Evan Johnson out early and grab a lead they would never relinquish, handing the Power a 7-1 loss Saturday night at FirstEnergy Park. West Virginia worked the bases loaded in the first on a Ryan Ramiz leadoff single and a pair of walks issued by Jhordany Mezquita, but Dean Nevarez flew out to deep center field to strand them loaded. Johnson turned in a scoreless first, but the BlueClaws sent 10 men to the plate in the second and scored five times. Johnson uncorked a wild pitch that plated the first run, while Juan Aparicio lofted a sacrifice fly to right for the second tally. Yerwin Trejo mashed an RBI double, while Malvin Matos and Luis Garcia each stroked run-scoring singles to cap the five-run frame. Reid Morgan came on in relief of Johnson and posted a very serviceable outing, hurling a career-best 4.1 innings and allowing just two runs on a fifth-inning bomb by Seth Lancaster. Meanwhile, Mezquita ceded just two hits through five innings before giving way to Dominic Pipkin. The right-handed piggybacker worked through the final four innings for Lakewood, and, despite allowing a run in the ninth as Mike Salvatore scampered home on a wild pitch, picked up his first save of the season. Kyle Hill tossed the final two frames for West Virginia.
BROKEN SURGE PROTECTOR: After going 0-for-5 Saturday, Matt Sanders saw his season-long hitting streak end at 11 games. Sanders recorded the third longest streak for any Power hitter this season (Bobby Honeyman and Jarred Kelenic, 18 games). During this streak that dated back to July 28, Sanders boasted a .298 (14-for-47) average with two homers and five RBI. Thanks to this recent surge, Sanders raised his average with the Power from .255 to .280. In 23 games with West Virginia, the former Troy infielder has three homers and 12 RBI.
DOMINANT DAYEISON: Dayeison Arias has really turned it on over his last few outings, spinning six consecutive hitless innings with nine strikeouts dating back to July 25. The right-hander's 12 saves are the most by a West Virginia reliever since Nick Neumann recorded a Power-franchise record 17 saves in 19 opportunities in 2015. His 12 saves are also second-most in the South Atlantic League (Alexander Martinez, Asheville, 14) and in the Mariners' system (Art Warren, Double-A Arkansas, 14). Arias has only allowed an earned run in six of his 37 total appearances, and the Power have won the last eight games he has appeared in.
ONE LAST CH-CH-CH-CHIA: Prior to West Virginia's game Friday, the Seattle Mariners announced that catcher Jake Anchia earned a promotion to the High-A Modesto Nuts after being with the Power since Opening Day. The Mid-Season SAL All-Star averaged .213 with 12 homers and 43 RBI in 81 games with West Virginia. He also threw out 27 percent of runners trying to steal against him. The backstop was known for his clutch moments, including his eighth-inning go-ahead grand slam on June 10 against Delmarva and a three-run walk off homer on June 27 against Kannapolis. In a corresponding move, outfielder Billy Cooke was promoted to West Virginia from Short-Season Everett.
COOKE OUT, MOSES IN: Two days after Cooke joined the Power, the Seattle Mariners announced prior to Sunday's game that he had been promoted to High-A Modesto, leaving West Virginia without playing in a game. Outfielder DeAires Moses joined the Power from Short-Season Everett as the corresponding move. A 19th round selection in 2016, Moses has spent each of his first three seasons with the Mariners in the AZL, although he missed most of last year after dealing with a right thumb injury (four games played). Moses averaged .192 in 36 games with the AquaSox this season, mashing his first three professional homers and collecting 11 RBI. The Mariners originally drafted the outfielder in the 31st round out of high school in 2014, but Moses elected to attend Volunteer State, where he boasted a .325 average or better in each of his two seasons there.
DOWN THE DIVISION-HEAVY STRETCH: West Virginia is in the midst of a division-heavy run to start the month of August, playing 14 of 18 games against the Northern Division. Following this stretch, which concludes after a three-game set in Delmarva and four games against the Hagerstown Suns next weekend at Appalachian Power Park, the Power will play seven of their final 14 games against divisional foes. West Virginia is 3-3 during this division gauntlet, but 27-33 overall and 14-19 in the second half in inter-divisional bouts.
POWER POINTS: Charlie McConnell has not committed an error in 63 consecutive games (May 15 at Charleston)... The Power went 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position, stranding 10 men on base... Johnson tied the shortest start thrown by a West Virginia hurler this season (Ryne Inman, May 31 at Asheville)... The Power has lost the last six games that Hill has appeared in... Honeyman worked three walks last night, tied for the most by a West Virginia batter this year.
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