Game Notes (July 15)
The Power begins a three-game series with the Columbia Fireflies Monday evening at Appalachian Power Park, with first pitch set for 7:05 p.m. RHP Clay Chandler (7-5, 4.15 ERA) takes the hill for West Virginia, while Columbia counters with RHP Christian James (3-7, 4.20 ERA).
POWER SQUANDERS LEAD IN FINALE: Onil Pena homered for the second straight game, but West Virginia blew a late two-run cushion and dropped the series finale to the Greensboro Grasshoppers, 12-9, Sunday afternoon at First National Bank Field. Greensboro got on the board first in the opening frame, tallying two runs against Josias De Los Santos on a pair of hits. The Power responded in the third, as Jake Anchia reached on a throwing error and Manny Pazos singled to put two on with nobody out. Mike Salvatore grounded into a fielder's choice for the first out of the inning, but Ryan Ramiz then stepped to the plate and drilled a three-run homer to right-center, vaulting West Virginia ahead 3-2. The Grasshoppers pounced right back, plating two in the home half of the frame and one more in the fourth to carry a 5-3 lead into the fifth. Ramiz got the offense going again in the fifth as he worked his way to second thanks to a throwing error by Ji-Hwan Bae. Charlie McConnell singled in Ramiz to close the deficit to one, and, after a Bobby Honeyman walk, Pena crushed a three-run bomb to left, thrusting the Power ahead 7-5. However, Greensboro again had an answer, knotting the game at seven in the bottom of the stanza to officially end De Los Santos' afternoon. David Sheaffer took control of the offense late, notching a pair of RBI singles to give West Virginia a two-run lead in the eighth, but Matthew Willrodt came unhinged in the bottom of the inning. The reliever ceded five runs on three hits and three walks, while the Grasshoppers charged ahead 12-9. Cody Smith worked around a leadoff single in the ninth to seal the win and stave off a three-game Power sweep.
SWEET AS HONEY: Following a 2-for-4 day with a run scored and a walk, Honeyman extended his hitting streak to 10 games, the longest active streak on the team. In this span, the infielder is averaging .310 (13-for-42) with a home run, four RBI and six runs scored, and has only struck out six times. In fact, Honeyman has only fanned six times over his last 15 games, stretching across 61 at-bats. Honeyman is in the midst of his third hitting streak of eight games or more this season (May 13-20 and May 24-June 2 with identical .344 averages). The Stony Brook product is one of two Power batters to post a hitting streak of 10 games or more this year (Jarred Kelenic, 18 games, April 11-May 2).
PENA EATS GRASSHOPPERS FOR BREAKFAST: For the second straight game, Pena cracked a three-run homer against the Greensboro Grasshoppers in the fifth inning. His team-leading 12th blast of the season moved his average against the Grasshoppers this season to .283 in 12 games played. Pena has collected six of his 12 homers and 15 RBI versus Greensboro, and has the second-best qualified average amongst active West Virginia sluggers against the Grasshoppers (Joseph Rosa, .324 in 10 games). Pena's 12 homers are a new season-best, surpassing his 10 bombs with the Short-Season Everett AquaSox in 2017. The Dominican Republic product also tallied seven RBI in a series for the second time this season (April 15-17 vs. Lakewood), the most any Power player has had in a series this year.
HOMERS ON HOMERS ON HOMERS: Pena homered on back-to-back days for the second time this season, matching his consecutive long balls on May 13 vs. Kannapolis and May 14 at Charleston. In total, the Power has had a slugger go yard in consecutive games five times this season (Kelenic, 3x, April 26 and 27 vs. Asheville; May 21 and 22 vs. Greensboro and May 26 and 28 vs. Lexington). With Ramiz and Pena going deep Sunday, the Power now has 78 home runs as a team this year, third-most in the South Atlantic League behind Greensboro (92) and Hickory (101). West Virginia has turned First National Bank Field into a launching pad this season, blasting 12 homers in 10 games, the most long balls they have hit in any visiting park.
RAH-RAH-RAH-RAMIZ: Ramiz has continued to uptick his offense over the last few weeks, hitting safely in nine of his last 12 games, dating back to June 30. In that stretch, the New Jersey native is boasting a .280 (14-for-50) clip with three homers, 11 RBI, seven runs scored and eight walks. Ramiz notched his 10th multi-RBI game of the season, the most on the team, as well as his third game with at least three RBI. His 48 walks are tied for third-most in the South Atlantic League with Greg Cullen (Rome) and Cadyn Grenier (Delmarva).
MARVELOUS MARTIN: Reeves Martin turned in another spectacular outing Sunday, hurling two scoreless frames and allowing just one hit while fanning three men. Martin now has a 1.42 ERA in five games with 12 strikeouts compared to three walks. The University of New Orleans product has allowed a run in only one of his five outings.
POWER POINTS: McConnell has not committed an error in 44 straight games... The Power went 17-for-35 (.486) with runners in scoring position during their road trip in Greensboro, notching their best road trip RISP average of the season... Sheaffer hit safely in each of his last five games with West Virginia (9-for-21, .429 clip), including three consecutive multi-hit contests.
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