Game Notes (June 16)
The Power concludes their first-half schedule Sunday afternoon at Historic Municipal Stadium as they go for the series sweep against the Hagerstown Suns, with first pitch set for 2:05 p.m. RHP Devin Sweet (2-2, 4.04 ERA) toes the slab.
POTENT OFFENSE HEADLINES 9-3 WIN: Joseph Rosa smacked a two-run homer in the second inning to give the Power the lead for good, while their offense piled on six more runs over the final four innings to pull away in a 9-3 victory in the doubleheader opener over the Hagerstown Suns Saturday afternoon at Historic Municipal Stadium. West Virginia scratched a run across in the first on back-to-back doubles from Julio Rodriguez and Bobby Honeyman for an early 1-0 lead, but the Suns responded quickly against Clay Chandler in the home half, plating two to snag their only lead of the day. Following Rosa's two-run blast, Chandler settled in, only allowing three hits over his final four innings while punching out five batters. Meanwhile, the Power's offense gave him plenty of support, as they tacked on a four-spot in the fourth with a two-run single from Ryan Ramiz and a two-run double from Honeyman. Two more in the sixth extended the lead to 9-2, which was more than enough for Elias Espino and Sal Biasi to carry through the final two frames. Chandler picked up his seventh win of the year in the opener, tied for the second-most wins in the league.
EVEN-KEELED INMAN HURLS GEM IN TWIN BILL SWEEP: Ryne Inman fired his first career Minor League complete game in his 79th career appearance, allowing just one run on two hits with three strikeouts to complete West Virginia's doubleheader sweep of the Hagerstown Suns Saturday evening with a 2-1 victory at Historic Municipal Stadium. Once again, the Power struck in the opening frame, as the first three batters singled to start the ballgame, with Julio's knock sending home Ramiz for a 1-0 cushion. The Suns tied it in the bottom of the second when Kyle Marinconz singled with one down, moved to second on a wild pitch, stole third and scored on a throwing error by Jake Anchia, but Inman limited Hagerstown's offense severely from there. The right-hander set down 13 straight from the end of the second through the sixth. In the top of the fifth, Ramiz provided the difference-making blast, a solo shot off Ryan Tapani.
GOING THE DISTANCE BREAKS DROUGHT: Inman's complete game victory in game two gave him his first win since May 25, and his second victory since May 10, spanning seven starts. Though the Atlanta native struggled in May, posting a 5.20 ERA, his Herculean effort Saturday shrunk his June mark down to 3.44. Inman registered the second complete game on the hill for the Power this season, joining Chandler, who accomplished the feat May 9 vs. Augusta.
UH, HEY, HOW YA DOIN? I'M BOBBY HONEYMAN: Honeyman has been on a tear recently, reaching base safely in his last 10 games (June 6-current) and recording a hit in all but one (June 11). After going 3-for-7 with three doubles and four RBI across the twin bill Saturday, he upped his average since June 6 to a blistering .368 (14-for-38), tied for the seventh-best qualified mark in the SAL in this stretch. In fact, the Stony Brook product has hit safely in 26 of his last 31 games, going back to May 13. Across that elongated span, Honeyman boasts a .314 (37-for-118) clip, the sixth-highest qualified average among SAL sluggers, along with two homers, 16 RBI and only 17 strikeouts. His average is the highest of non-SAL All-Stars. Honeyman's four RBI he recorded in game one Saturday marked a new career-best.
ENERGETIC RODRIGUEZ SHINING LIKE A BRAND NEW CADILLAC: Prior to his eighth-inning home run Friday, Julio had one hit in his first 12 at-bats since returning from the injured list June 10. The roundtripper sparked a resurgence for the Mariners prospect, as he has since gone 7-for-9 starting with that homer and added a pair of doubles and RBI. The outfielder notched his sixth and seventh multi-hit games in the twin bill sweep. Through his first 15 games in the South Atlantic League, Rodriguez is averaging .365 with one homer and nine RBI, though he has struck out 11 times.
ROLLING OUT THE HOMERS LIKE CANDY: With Ramiz and Rosa's bombs Saturday, West Virginia has 58 home runs, third-most in the South Atlantic League (Greensboro, 70 and Hickory, 73). Ramiz cranked his first home run since May 25, while Rosa registered his first bomb since April 25. Ramiz's third dinger of the season set a season-best for the New Jersey native, surpassing his pair of home runs that he recorded last year in Everett. The Power's offense enjoyed hitting at Historic Municipal Stadium in 2018, as the sluggers went deep six times in seven games in Maryland in 2018.
ONE RUN FUN IN THE MARYLAND SPORTS ZONE: With their 2-1 win in game two, the Power snagged their 15th one-run victory, improving their record in one-run contests to 15-8. West Virginia's .652 winning percentage is second-best in the league, (Delmarva [.696]), while their 23 one-run games played are tied for seventh-most (Hagerstown, 31).
POWER POINTS: Sunday's series finale between the Power and the Suns will be their final square-off until August 15, when Hagerstown makes its lone trip to Appalachian Power Park... With the two wins from an All-Star in Chandler and Inman, West Virginia secured an above .500 first half record for the second straight season.
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