Game Notes (July 21)
The Power concludes their four-game series with the Delmarva Shorebirds Sunday afternoon at Appalachian Power Park, with first pitch set for 2:05 p.m. RHP Ryne Inman (7-6, 4.59 ERA) heads to the hill for West Virginia, while Delmarva goes with LHP Ryan Wilson (5-3, 2.80 ERA).
EARLY OFFENSE CARRIES POWER SATURDAY : West Virginia used two big innings, a six-run first and a five-run third, to build an eight-run cushion over the Delmarva Shorebirds before holding on late in a 12-10 victory Saturday night at Appalachian Power Park. The Power jumped all over Grayson Rodriguez in the first, sending 11 men to the plate. Matt Sanders got the offense going with a one-out double down the third base line, and Julio Rodriguez promptly doubled him in for a 1-0 lead. After a wild pitch moved Julio to third, Bobby Honeyman brought him home with a fielder's choice play to second that saw Julio beat the throw to the plate. Austin Shenton then smashed a two-run homer to right-center to make it 4-0, while Dean Nevarez and Mike Salvatore each worked a walk around an Onil Pena single to load the bases and end the shortest start of Rodriguez's pro career. Juan Echevarria got Charlie McConnell to pop out, but Ryan Ramiz stroked a two-run, two-out single to propel West Virginia to a 6-0 edge. Delmarva racked up three runs over the next two innings, but the Power went right back to work in the third. This time, McConnell kicked off the contributions with a two-run single. Julio added his own run-scoring knock three batters later, while Honeyman brought in two more on a base hit and a fielding error that expanded the lead to 11-3. The Shorebirds would not relent, however, plating four runs in the fifth and one in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings to make it a one-run game with the tying run at third base. Dayeison Arias thwarted the comeback effort though, picking up a two-inning save.
GOING STREAKING : Thanks to his third-inning single in the Power's five-run third, Honeyman extended his hitting streak to 16 games, the longest active streak on the team. In this span, the infielder is averaging .338 (23-for-68) with a home run, 10 RBI and 10 runs scored, and has only struck out eight times. In fact, Honeyman has only fanned eight times over his last 20 games, stretching across 87 at-bats (9%). 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 batters with a hitting streak of 16 games or more this year (Jarred Kelenic, 18 games, April 11-May 2). Honeyman also collected his ninth multi-RBI game of the season, tied with Jake Anchia and Pena for second-most among all Power players (Ramiz, 11).
RAH-RAH-RAH-RAMIZ : Ramiz has continued to uptick his offense over the last few weeks, hitting safely in 15 of his last 18 games dating back to June 30. In that stretch, the New Jersey native is averaging .316 (24-for-76) with four homers, 15 RBI, 11 runs scored and eight walks. With his two-run single yesterday, Ramiz pushed his hitting streak to nine games, riding the fifth hitting streak of nine games or more by a Power player this season. Across this nine-game stretch (dating back to July 12), the Seton Hall product is averaging .325 (13-for-40) with two homers and eight RBI.
THE LONG BALL : Shenton's second home run with the Power notched West Virginia's 84th long ball of the season, third-most in the South Atlantic League (Greensboro, 102 and Hickory, 113). The Power now has six home runs this homestand and 10 total over their last nine games. As a team, West Virginia has thrived with the deep shot at Appalachian Power Park, crushing 48 bombs in 51 home games this season, also the third-best mark in the league (Greensboro, 59 and Hickory, 68).
THE BIG INNING : The Power posted a pair of big innings Saturday evening, their ninth and 10th big innings of the season. West Virginia's six-run first tied the most runs they've scored in any inning so far this year (five times), as well as a set a new first inning high mark. The Power had not recorded multiple big innings in a game since they utilized two five-run stanzas to thump the Hagerstown Suns, 12-4, June 30, 2018, in Maryland.
A BROKEN PEN : The Power bullpen has been abysmal over the last five games, picking up three blown saves after West Virginia had only flubbed seven opportunities in their first 95 contests. Across this five-game slide, the Power's relief corps has an 8.85 ERA (20 ER/20.1 IP) and has allowed 30 hits and seven walks compared to 19 strikeouts. Despite the pen's woes, Arias has still provided mostly solid work out of the bullpen this homestand. The South Atlantic League Midseason All-Star has one win and one save in three innings of work, as well as four strikeouts. Arias' eight saves are tied for second-most in the league among active hurlers with Greenville's Logan Browning.
POWER POINTS : McConnell has not committed an error in 49 consecutive games (May 15 at Charleston)... Anchia is currently mired in a 2-for-27 (.074) slump, notching just one RBI since July 7 while striking out 16 times... Shenton has reached base safely in 25 of his first 27 professional games, including five of six with West Virginia... Reid Morgan snagged his first professional hold... Julio tied his career-high with three RBI Saturday night (sixth time in his career).
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