Game Notes (May 25)
The Power begins a four-game series against the Lexington Legends this evening at Appalachian Power Park, with first pitch set for 6:05 p.m. RHP Ryne Inman (4-3, 3.77 ERA) takes the hill for West Virginia.
POWER SWEPT AGAIN BY GRASSHOPPERS: Onil Pena gave the Power an early 1-0 lead with a solo home run in the first inning, but Greensboro never wavered, scoring all seven of their runs from the fourth through the eighth innings to take the series finale, 7-5, Friday evening at Appalachian Power Park, completing a four-game series sweep. After Pena's blast got West Virginia on the board first, they doubled their lead in the second as Joseph Rosa singled in Jake Anchia. The Grasshoppers clawed their way back against Clay Chandler, who battled through six innings and gave up four runs on eight hits while striking out three. Greensboro pushed a run across in the fourth, two in the fifth and one in the sixth to knot the game at four, after the Power plated two in the home half of the fifth on Charlie McConnell's run-scoring knock and Johnny Slater's swipe of home. The Grasshoppers snared the lead for good in the seventh off David Ellingson, as Rodolfo Castro smoked an RBI single to left and Ellingson walked Grant Koch with the bases loaded. Ji-Hwan Bae added a run of insurance in the eighth with an RBI double. Bobby Honeyman got one back in the home half of the frame on an infield single to third, but Yerry De Los Santos fanned the side in the ninth to end it.
HEREEEEEEE'S JOHNNY: Slater has given the Power's offense a shot in the arm over the last few games. After posting a career high-tying three-RBI night Wednesday with a double and a triple, the University of Michigan product notched his second straight multi-hit effort Thursday with 2-for-4 evening, a double and an RBI. He also gunned down a runner at the plate for his first outfield assist Thursday, and then proceeded to swipe two bases, including a steal of home, Friday evening. Slater is the first Power baserunner to take two bags in a single game this season.
HOMER HAPPY AT HOME: With Pena's homer last night, West Virginia now has 25 homers in 24 home games this season, third-most in the South Atlantic League behind Greensboro (30) and the Hickory Crawdads (30). The Power's 39 overall dingers are also third-most in the league behind Charleston (40), Hickory (48) and Greensboro (54).
BAD BROOMS: Greensboro handed the Power their fourth sweep of the season, and second four-game brooming of the year, both at the hands of the Grasshoppers (May 3-6 at Greensboro). Kannapolis and Charleston are the two other teams who have swept West Virginia in 2019, with the Intimidators owning a three-game series from May 11-13 at Appalachian Power Park, while Charleston took care of the Power from May 14-16 in South Carolina.
ROSA RISING: Over his last seven games, Rosa has started to climb out of his mid-season funk. After going 0-for-14 from May 10-14, the infielder has hit safely in seven of his last eight games, boasting a .393 (11-for-28) clip in that span, the highest average on the team. Rosa collected his 13th multi-hit game of the season Friday night, second-most on the team (Jarred Kelenic, 15). Ros also maintains the South Atlantic League's ninth-best on-base percentage at .392.
ALMIGHTY ANCHIA: Anchia has been on quite the tear recently, averaging .341 (15-for-44) in his last 12 games with five homers and 14 RBI. The backstop has reached base safely in 11 of those 12 games, dating back to May 8, during which he has raised his average from .200 to .235, an increase of 35 points.
HOME COOKED: West Virginia has dropped its last seven games at home, dating back to their three-game brooming at the hands of the Intimidators. In those seven games, the Power has scored a maximum of seven runs (three times), but dropped all three contests, moving their record from a sterling to 6-0 to a pedestrian 6-3 when tallying seven runs or more in a game. West Virginia has not fallen in more than seven consecutive home games since June 2-15, 2014, when the Power was handed eight straight home defeats by Kannapolis, Greensboro and the Delmarva Shorebirds.
GOOD RIDDANCE: Friday's series finale was the last time the Power and the Grasshoppers will play in the first half. West Virginia is glad to see Greensboro depart, as the team averaged a paltry .212 against their Northern Division foes and posted a 6.75 ERA, while the Grasshoppers roared to a .323 average and a 3.38 ERA against the Power.
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 5.36 mark in May, the highest ERA in the South Atlantic League in that span. The Power's starting rotation has taken the brunt of this avalanche, with their ERA ballooning from 2.63 to 4.61 in the season's second month, an increase of 198 points.
POWER POINTS: West Virginia is 9-9 in contests decided by two runs or less... The Power went 3-for-8 with RISP.
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