Game Notes (July 13)
The Power continues their three-game series against the Greensboro Grasshoppers Saturday evening at First National Bank Field, with first pitch set for 7:05 p.m. LHP Steven Moyers (7-4, 3.79 ERA) gets the ball for West Virginia, while RHP Steven Jennings (5-7, 4.87 ERA) toes the rubber for Greensboro.
FOUR-RUN EIGHTH VAULTS POWER TO 9-7 WIN: Despite trailing three times, the Power soared back and used a four-run eighth to topple the Greensboro Grasshoppers, 9-7, Friday night at First National Bank Field. The Grasshoppers scored first in the opening frame, notching a run on three hits against Devin Sweet for a 1-0 lead. West Virginia answered right back in the second, as Nick Rodriguez brought in a run on an RBI groundout and Mike Salvatore stroked an RBI double to give the Power a 2-1 lead. Greensboro plated two in the fourth to retake the lead, as Luke Mangieri drilled a solo homer and Jack Herman came in to score on a throwing error by Jake Anchia. Anchia redeemed himself by tying the game at three in the sixth with a sacrifice fly, but the Grasshoppers pounced against Matthew Willrodt in the home half of the inning, tacking on two thanks to a run-scoring double from Justin Harrer and an RBI knock by Kyle Mottice, pushing Greensboro ahead 5-3. Julio Rodriguez squared the contest back up in the seventh with a two-run single, and then the Power offense exploded in the eighth. David Sheaffer began the frame with a ground-rule down the left-field line and then Anchia worked a walk before Cristofer Melendez was lifted in favor of Allen Montgomery. The new Grasshoppers hurler walked Onil Pena to load the bases for N-Rod, who brought in a run with a high-bouncing grounder to short that pushed West Virginia in front 6-5. Salvatore and Ryan Ramiz kept the inning going with a pair of RBI singles, and Julio added a sacrifice fly of his own to cap the four-run stanza and extend the Power's edge to 9-5. Elias Espino hurled a strong seventh before struggling in the eighth, serving up a leadoff homer to Herman, a walk to Zack Kone and a double to Harrer before being replaced by Bryan Pall. The right-hander allowed one of his inherited runners to score on a wild pitch, but used a nice defensive play at third from Bobby Honeyman and two strikeouts to wiggle his way out of the jam. Pall then worked around a two-out single in the ninth to seal the comeback victory.
PUTTING THE PIECES TOGETHER: Following a 1-for-3 night with a run scored in Friday's opener, Honeyman extended his hitting streak to eight games, the longest active streak on the team. In this span, the infielder is averaging .273 (9-for-33) with two RBI and three runs scored, and has only struck out six times. In fact, Honeyman has only fanned six times over his last 13 games, stretching across 52 at-bats. Honeyman is in the midst of his third eight-game hitting streak this season (May 13-20 and May 24-June 2 with identical .344 averages).
MAGIC MIKE: Salvatore stepped up in a major way offensively last night, going 3-for-4 with a double, two RBI and a run scored in Friday's 9-7 win. The Florida State product posted career-highs in hits and RBI, as well as stroked his second extra-base hit in the Minor Leagues. The Mariners' ninth-round selection in this year's draft notched the 29th game where a Power slugger has tallied three hits or more.
JULIOOOOOOO: Julio has continued to provide a consistent spark to West Virginia's lineup, especially in the month of July. He has now hit safely in six of his last seven games, dating back to July 4 in Lexington, during which he is averaging .313 (10-for-32) with a homer and 10 RBI. The Mariners' sixth-best prospect per MLB.com tied his career-high with three RBI (four times) Friday night, and recorded his 14th multi-hit and sixth multi-RBI affair of the year.
BULLPEN BULLY BRYAN: Despite letting one of his inherited runners come in the score last night, Pall spun two scoreless frames and ceded just one hit to secure his fourth consecutive scoreless outing. The South Atlantic League Midseason All-Star has only coughed up one earned run in his last nine appearances going back to June 6, spanning 11 innings (0.91 ERA). In the second half, Pall is 1-0 with a 1.00 ERA in six appearances with 13 strikeouts compared to four walks and an opponent average of .133 against him.
A POSSIBLE RECORD-SETTING PERFORMANCE: Saturday starter Steven Moyers has a chance to etch his name in the Power record books this evening. If Moyers hurls a quality start against Greensboro, he would post his 13th quality start of the season, surpassing Dario Agrazal (12 in 2016) for the most quality starts by a pitcher in a single season in Power history (2005-present). The southpaw had a streak of seven consecutive quality outings snapped last time out against Lexington when he gave up a grand slam in the second inning. Moyers still leads the South Atlantic League in innings (107) and strikeouts (107), and is still the lone SAL hurler with both 100-plus strikeouts and innings. West Virginia has not had a pitcher with at least 100 innings pitched and 100 strikeouts since 2017, when both Luis Escobar and Eduardo Vera crossed those thresholds, with Escobar posting a Power single-season record 168 punchouts over 131.2 frames. Vera locked up 109 hitters through 132.1 innings of work.
POWER POINTS: Charlie McConnell has not committed an error in 42 games... The Power went 2-for-8 with RISP.
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