Game Notes (May 21)
The Power begins a four-game series against the Greensboro Grasshoppers this evening at Appalachian Power Park, with first pitch set for 7:05 p.m. RHP Damon Casetta-Stubbs (2-2, 6.85 ERA) takes the hill for West Virginia.
POWER BLANKED IN FINALE: Ryne Inman fired his second quality start of the season, but West Virginia's offense mustered just six hits and fell, 4-0, to the Greenville Drive Monday night at Fluor Field at the West End. Inman suffered one rough inning, as Greenville plated three runs in the third to take a commanding lead. Inman buckled down following that frame, striking out four over six innings and walking one. Meanwhile, Thaddeus Ward subdued the Power, retiring the last 15 men he faced following a single to Bobby Honeyman to begin the second inning. Ultimately, Ward spun seven shutout innings and fanned seven while giving up just four hits. The Drive tacked on another run in the eighth against David Ellingson, who worked the final two innings and ceded just one hit. Hunter Haworth picked up his first save of the year after working a scoreless eighth and ninth.
ALMIGHTY ANCHIA: Jake Anchia has been on quite the tear recently, averaging .364 (12-for-33) in his last nine games with five homers and 12 RBI. The backstop recorded his first career multi-homer game May 9 in the twin bill opener against Augusta, becoming the third Power batter to do so this season (Dean Nevarez, April 26 vs. Asheville and Jarred Kelenic, April 27 vs. Asheville). Anchia is the first batter to homer in back-to-back at-bats since Trae Arbet on April 12, 2017, vs. Asheville. The Nova Southeastern product collected a career-best five RBI May 9 as well, the first West Virginia slugger to accomplish the feat since Deon Stafford's six-RBI effort August 11, 2018, at Rome.
SWEET AS HONEY: Honeyman has started to find his rhythm with West Virginia. The New York native is riding a season-long eight-game hitting streak dating back to May 13, during which he is averaging .344 (11-for-32) with two doubles, two RBI and five runs, as well as just one strikeout. In this span, the infielder has raised his average from .175 to .204, the first time it has been above the Mendoza Line threshold. Honeyman is the sixth Power batter to post a hitting streak of at least six games (Kelenic, 18; Cesar Izturis Jr. and Onil Pena, 9; Ryan Ramiz and Julio Rodriguez, 6). Honeyman has also reached base in a season-best nine straight games, dating back to May 12.
BULLPEN BULLIES: West Virginia's bullpen kept this team in a ton of games during their most recent road trip. Over this seven-game road swing, the relief corps spun 24.1 innings and gave up just four earned runs (1.48 ERA) on 11 hits while striking out 30 batters. The Power's bullpen ERA currently sits at 2.79, 129 points below the starters.
RODRIGUEZ STARTING TO ROLL: Nick Rodriguez has reached base safely in 10 of his last 11 games, dating back to May 5. In that span, the infielder has posted a .278 (10-for-36) clip with four RBI, two runs and three doubles.
HANGING ZEROES: The Power was blanked for just the third time this season Monday night, with all three of their shutout losses coming on the road (May 2 at Lakewood and May 16 at Charleston). Overall, West Virginia is 5-3 in shutouts this year, the third-best winning percentage (.625) in the South Atlantic League, trailing Greensboro (.750) and Delmarva (.714). The Power is also tied with the Grasshoppers for the most shutouts played in this year at eight.
LOOKING FOR SOME REVENGE: West Virginia did not fare so well in North Carolina during their first series against Greensboro, as the Grasshoppers swept the Power pretty handily at First National Bank Field, their first four-game sweep defeat since late July 2018 at Kannapolis. In that four-game brooming, Greensboro outscored West Virginia by 13 runs combined, while several former Power players did a lot of the damage. Infielder Rodolfo Castro averaged .400 with three homers and six RBI, while outfielder Lolo Sanchez posted a .308 clip and first baseman Mason Martin left the yard and drove in four runs. Meanwhile, Cam Alldred, Nicholas Economos, Braeden Ogle, Samuel Reyes and Logan Stoelke tossed 14 total innings and surrendered just three runs (all by Economos) while striking out 21 batters.
THE SCRIPT HAS BEEN FLIPPED: After posting the second-lowest ERA (2.59) in the league in April, West Virginia's pitching staff has been battered around to the tune of a 4.69 mark in May, the third-highest ERA in that span. Over this last road trip, the Power allowed the most runs they have given up on a road trip this season (31), along with a 4.58 ERA.
KELENIC'S KRYPTONITE: Kelenic has been mired in a bit of a slump over his last 10 games, boasting a .167 average with just two RBI. In the stretch, his season average has plummeted from .345 to .298, though he still leads all qualified hitters on the Power. Kelenic has much preferred playing at home, holding a .384 clip vs. a .227 road mark.
POWER POINTS: Pena had his nine-game errorless streak snapped in the first inning... The Power left five men on base.
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