Game Notes (May 5)
The Power continues their four-game series with the Grasshoppers Sunday afternoon at First National Bank Field, with first pitch set for 2 p.m. RHP Damon Casetta-Stubbs (2-0, 0.00 ERA) takes the hill for West Virginia.
FIVE-RUN THIRD TOO MUCH FOR POWER: Jarred Kelenic launched his seventh home run of the season, but Greensboro used a five-run third and five RBI from Rodolfo Castro to down West Virginia, 6-3, Saturday night at First National Bank Field. Power starter Ryne Inman looked solid through the first two innings, striking out four batters in a row at one stretch. However, the Grasshoppers got to him in the third, sending eight men to the plate and scoring five runs, with the big blow coming on Castro's grand slam that just looped its way over the right field fence for a 5-0 Greensboro lead. West Virginia got one back in the fourth on Ryan Ramiz's RBI double that plated Kelenic to make it 5-1. Kelenic went back to work in the sixth, cranking a two-run shot 368 feet to right-center to pull the Power within two at 5-3, but Castro stroked his second home run of the night in the seventh to vault the Grasshoppers ahead by three again.
WHAT A HOMECOMING: Cesar Trejo, a Greensboro resident and product of the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, has shown off in front of his home crowd the last two nights, collecting a career-high four-hit night with three singles, a triple and two RBI on Friday before going 2-for-4 Saturday night with a double. The outfielder recorded West Virginia's second four-hit game of the season (Kelenic, April 16 vs. Lakewood), as well as the team's second triple of the year (Charlie McConnell, April 22 vs. Columbia) Friday. The Power's other Greensboro native, Devin Sweet, had his turn to pitch in front of the hometown crowd Saturday evening and did not disappoint, striking out the side in the fifth while surrendering just one hit.
LET'S START ANOTHER STREAK: One night after Kelenic saw his 18-game hitting streak come to an end, the Mariners' number two prospect was right back at it, notching a 2-for-3 night with a home run, two RBI and two runs scored Saturday evening. Kelenic has hit the last two homers for West Virginia (April 30 at Lakewood). He also recorded his 11th multi-hit game of the season and fifth multi-RBI affair. The outfielder possesses a 21-game on-base streak (dating back to April 10) that he extended in the first inning with a single. Kelenic's on-base streak is tied for the second-longest in Class A ball this season, and the longest active with Trey Harris (Rome Braves).
BIG INNING BITES: Greensboro's five-run third inning put the game away against West Virginia Saturday night, as they became the third team to post a big inning against the Power this season, all on the road (Lexington, five-run third April 8 at Whitaker Bank Ballpark and Lakewood, five-run fifth May 2 at FirstEnergy Park).
STRUGGLING TO CONVERT: West Virginia has had real issues with runners in scoring position this season, and especially during this road trip. The Power went 1-for-10 last night and left seven men on base, bringing their RISP average for the road trip to .132 (5-for-38). Overall, West Virginia is averaging .213 with RISP, tied for the second-lowest clip in the SAL with the Greenville Drive. The Columbia Fireflies are the only team with a worse average (.167).
PILING UP THE STRIKEOUTS: West Virginia's pitching staff set down 13 batters via the strikeout Saturday, upping their season total to 287, fourth-most in the South Atlantic League (Charleston RiverDogs, 307). The arms struck out double-digit batters for the 16th time this year, finishing six shy of their season-high (19, two times).
DIVISIONAL CLASHES: After playing just three games against Northern Division foes in the season's first 23 games, West Virginia now faces a division-heavy stretch starting with this road trip. The Power will play 5 of their next nine games against members of their own division, including two against Greensboro, before finishing their next homestand with a three-game set against the Kannapolis Intimidators. West Virginia is 5-3 against their division in 2019 after sweeping Lakewood from 4/15-4/17 at Appalachian Power Park and starting this trip with a pair of wins at Lakewood.
HELLO OLD FRIENDS: West Virginia will see some familiar faces opposing them as they take on the Grasshoppers this weekend, as several former Power players are now donning the green, orange and white with Pittsburgh's new South Atlantic League affiliate. Current Grasshopper infielders Rodolfo Castro, Connor Kaiser, Mason Martin and Raul Siri, outfielders Lolo Sanchez and Fabricio Macias and pitchers Cam Alldred, Nicholas Economos, Travis MacGregor, Braeden Ogle, Samuel Reyes and Logan Stoelke all wore a Power uniform for some portion of the 2018 season.
POWER POINTS: Joseph Rosa has reached base safely in 22 of his 26 games in 2019... The Power lost for just the second time when outhitting their opponent... West Virginia is now 10-4 when hitting a home run in a game... The Power committed three errors in a game for the third time this season... Ramiz collected his fifth multi-hit game of the season.
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South Atlantic League Stories from May 5, 2019
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