Game Notes (August 25)
The Power concludes their three-game series with the Lakewood BlueClaws this afternoon at Appalachian Power Park, with first pitch set for 2:05 p.m. RHP Evan Johnson (0-4, 5.26 ERA) gets the ball for West Virginia, while Lakewood counters with LHP Taylor Lehman (2-0, 1.37 ERA).
INMAN DEALS, OFFENSE AWAKENS IN 5-2 WIN : Ryne Inman struck out 10 batters over 4.2 scoreless innings, while the Power scored four runs in the fifth inning to cruise by the Lakewood BlueClaws, 5-2, Saturday evening at Appalachian Power Park. Inman was electric throughout the night, allowing just one hit and two walks through his shortened outing. Meanwhile, West Virginia's offense got going in the third, as Manny Pazos tripled into the right-field corner with one down, and Billy Cooke brought him in with an RBI single to make it 1-0 Power. Kevin Gowdy subdued West Virginia in the fourth, but the Power pounced against Gowdy in the fifth, with the first four batters all reaching base. Cooke led off with a double and moved to third on Caleb Ricca's fielder's choice play that saw Cole Stobbe drop a relay throw in a rundown to put two in scoring position. Ryan Ramiz then doubled them both in with a shot to right, and Matt Sanders followed with a run-scoring two-bagger of his own to push the lead to 4-0. Tom Sutera took over for Gowdy and settled the surge, though Nick Rodriguez did provide an additional tally with a two-out single to stretch the edge to 5-0. Brendan McGuigan shined in relief of Inman, working 2.1 innings and letting up just two unearned runs in the eighth, both of which reached on a pair of errors, while fanning two and not walking a batter. Robert Winslow spun the final two innings, ceding one hit and striking out four men to pick up his first save with the Power.
CLIMBING THE LADDER : With his 10-strikeout performance yesterday, Inman brought his team-leading Ks total to 146 over 126.1 innings, which also paces the staff. Inman's 146 strikeouts are second-most in the South Atlantic League (Seth Corry, 161), while he has tossed the seventh-most innings (Charlie Neuweiler, 141.2). The right-hander picked up double-digit strikeouts in a ballgame for the third time this season (April 23 vs. Columbia, 10 and August 8 at Lakewood, 12), as well as notched the seventh double-digit strikeout game by a Power starter this season. Inman's 146 strikeouts sit third all-time in Power history, trailing Luis Escobar (168, 2017) and Tyler Glasnow (164, 2013), as well as 10th-best in Charleston baseball history (John Roper, 189, 1991).
INTO THE RECORD BOOKS : The Power compiled 16 strikeouts last night, pushing their total to 1,204 for the season, the fourth-highest mark in the league. The 2019 team possesses the highest strikeout total of any team in Power history, surpassing the previous record of 1,175 set in 2013.
GOOD GRIEF, THAT'S SOME RELIEF!: West Virginia's bullpen was impressive throughout the entire Charleston series and has carried their momentum through the first two games of their series with Lakewood. The Power relief corps has surrendered just one earned run in their last 20.2 innings of work (0.44 ERA) on eight hits over the last five games.
SURGING SANDERS : Sanders continued his consistent month of August for West Virginia Saturday night, notching his 12th multi-hit game of the season with a 2-for-4 night. The infielder has hit safely in 22 of his last 25 contests and is boasting a .320 (32-for-100) clip, the eighth-best batting average in the SAL in that span (July 28-current), with three homers and 11 RBI. Sanders is tied for the team lead with three homers (Onil Pena) and leads the squad with 10 RBI in the month of August. He is one of three active Power hitters to have an average above .300 (.326) in the season's penultimate month.
BREAK OUT THE BROOMS : With a win today in the series finale over Lakewood, West Virginia would secure its sixth sweep of the season, as well as its second against the Lakewood BlueClaws (April 15-17 in West Virginia). The Power has only broomed one team in the second half (Columbia Fireflies, July 15-17), while they have been swept once as well (Delmarva Shorebirds, July 9-11). West Virginia is averaging a run differential of +10.6 in series sweeps this season, as well as 3.3 runs per game. The Power is looking to claim at least 13 wins in a season series against Lakewood for just the third time in series history (13, 2012 and 20, 2013).
THE END OF THE LINE : Despite West Virginia's 5-2 win last night over the Lakewood BlueClaws, the Power was knocked out of the playoffs due to Delmarva's extra-inning win over the Hagerstown Suns in game two of their doubleheader. West Virginia is the third team to be knocked out of contention for a league title this season, joining Greenville and Lakewood. The Power has not made the playoffs since the 2015 campaign.
POWER POINTS : Charlie McConnell has not committed an error in 75 consecutive games (dating back to May 15 at Charleston)... Bobby Honeyman is hitless over his last 15 at-bats... West Virginia went 5-for-13 with runners in scoring position, stranding nine men on base... Pazos recorded his first triple of the season, as well as the seventh of his career.
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