Game Notes (August 21)
The Power continues their three-game series against the Charleston RiverDogs this evening at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park, with first pitch set for 7:05 p.m. RHP Juan Then (First Low-A Start) takes the hill for West Virginia, while Charleston sends LHP Josh Maciejewski (1-1, 2.25 ERA) to the bump.
FOUR-RUN FIRST SINKS POWER IN OPENER: Dean Nevarez cracked his seventh homer of the season, but West Virginia's comback fell short in a 5-3 loss to Charleston Tuesday night at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park. The RiverDogs struck for a four-spot in the first inning against Evan Johnson thanks to a Canaan Smith two-run blast that started the scoring and a Josh Stowers RBI double later in the frame. The Power answered in the next half inning, as Matt Sanders led off with a double down the left-field line for West Virginia's first hit of the night. A couple batters later, Nevarez ripped an inside fastball down the left-field line and hooked it around the foul pole for a two-run jack that brought the Power back within two. Charleston extended their lead to three with a run in the fifth, but could not muster anything further again the bullpen combination of Ben Onyshko and Sal Biasi. The Power got the first two men on in the ninth inning on back-to-back singles, but could only manage to tack on one run in the final frame on a sacrifice fly. Tim Hardy put out the West Virginia rally, closing out the 5-3 RiverDogs win to earn his first save with the club.
THEN TO DEBUT NOW: After being added to the Power's roster Saturday night, RHP Juan Then is slated to start the middle match of the team's series in Charleston, S.C. tonight. Then is 0-3 with a 3.34 ERA in eight games (six starts) between the AZL and Everett. The right-hander was dealt back to Seattle in June of this year in the deal for Edwin Encarnacion after the Mariners traded him back in 2017 to the New York Yankees. Then is the 16th-best prospect in the Mariners' system per MLB.com.
DEAN THE MACHINE: Nevarez went 2-for-4 with a two-run homer and an opposite-field single in the series opener against the RiverDogs Tuesday night. It marked the eighth multi-hit and multi-RBI games for Nevarez this season in his 39 games with West Virginia. The Power backstop now has four RBI over his last two games and the homer marked his first since July 25 against Hickory. Since the calendar turned to August, Nevarez has stroked a .367 mark with a homer and six RBI in his nine games played.
KEEPING IT WITHIN REACH: The West Virginia bullpen logged some crucial innings from the duo of Onyshko and Biasi Tuesday night, as the two combined for 7.1 innings of stellar work. Onyshko replaced Johnson with two outs in the first inning and conceded just one run over 4.1 innings, one out short from tying his career-high in innings pitched. Over the month of August, the southpaw has a 1.26 ERA and has surrendered just two earned runs in 14.1 innings over six appearances. Tuesday night marked the second time this season that the southpaw has tallied more than four innings of relief and the fourth time this season that he has struck out at least five in an outing. Biasi, who entered in the sixth on Tuesday, struck out the side in order to start his outing and retired the first six batters he faced. Over his appearance, the righty set a new season-high in strikeouts with six, marking just the sixth time he has struck out half-a-dozen or more hitters in a performance.
SURGING SANDERS: Sanders notched his 10th multi-hit performance of the season and scored twice in Tuesday's matchup with the RiverDogs. The Power infielder has now hit safely in 19 of his last 21 contests and is boasting a .307 clip during that time period. Sanders is tied for the team lead with three homers and eight RBI in the month of August with Onil Pena, and is one of four active Power hitters to have an average above .300 (.311). The Troy product has also tallied 23 hits this month, four more than any other Power hitter (Austin Shenton, 19)
ALL-STAR NUMBERS: Though he did not play in the entire Delmarva series, Bobby Honeyman picked up right where he left off over the entire Hagerstown set, stroking two doubles and scoring two runs. He has been really hot over the last six weeks, as across his last 38 games, Honeyman is boasting a .349 (52-for-149) clip, the third-best average in the South Atlantic League during this span (Malvin Matos, .368, Lakewood), along with two homers and 21 RBI. He also has notched a hit in 33 of those 38 contests. Honeyman's overall .279 average sits 10th-best among qualified league hitters, while his 119 hits are tied for fourth-highest.
POWER POINTS: Charlie McConnell has not committed an error in 71 consecutive games (May 15 at Charleston)... West Virginia has dropped its last six meetings with the Charleston RiverDogs (all in South Carolina)... The Power has now lost six of their last seven matchups and have been outscored by a total of 39-24 over that stretch... West Virginia's elimination number stands at three with 13 games to go, with seven vs. their division... The Power tallied their 101st home run of the season last night with Nevarez's bomb, third-most in the South Atlantic League. The 2019 club has the fourth-most homers as a team in Power history (2005-present), and would tie the 2012 club with one more bomb.
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