Game Notes (May 6)
The Power tries to salvage the series finale against the Greensboro Grasshoppers this morning at First National Bank Field, with first pitch set for 10:45 a.m. LHP Steven Moyers (2-1, 3.81 ERA) takes the hill for West Virginia.
NEVAREZ HOMERS IN 8-2 LOSS: Dean Nevarez cranked his third home run of the season to lead off the seventh inning, but it was not enough to mount a West Virginia comeback win, as the Power fell 8-2 to the Greensboro Grasshoppers Sunday afternoon at First National Bank Field. Following a 1:05 pregame delay, Greensboro's bats got going against Damon Casetta-Stubbs in the first inning, as Mason Martin laced an RBI single to right to plate Lolo Sanchez and give the Grasshoppers a 1-0 lead. Greensboro would tack on five more in the second, with Martin putting the exclamation point on the big inning with a two-run blast to right-center. The Grasshoppers added a run in the fifth and the sixth on run-scoring extra-base hits from Brett Kinneman and Sanchez to pad an 8-0 edge. Nevarez provided a slight offensive spark for West Virginia in the seventh with his leadoff jack, while Connor Hoover plated the only other run for the Power with a fielder's choice that brought in Ryan Ramiz later in the frame.
THE LONG BALL: Nevarez connected for West Virginia's third home run of this road trip, and second of the series against Greensboro (Jarred Kelenic, May 4). Overall, the Power has 22 home runs as a team on the season, third-most in the South Atlantic League behind Greensboro (39) and the Hickory Crawdads (37). Conversely, the Power's pitching staff has given up the third-fewest homers in the SAL (14), sitting behind just Delmarva (11) and Charleston (12).
LET'S START ANOTHER STREAK: Kelenic continued his torrid stretch in 2019, ripping a base hit to right in his final at-bat to extend his on-base streak to 22 games (dating back to April 10). During this span, the outfielder is averaging .417 (35-for-84) with seven homers, 11 doubles and 19 RBI. Kelenic's on-base streak is tied for the second-longest in Class A ball this season (Grant Lavigne, Asheville, 24 games), and the longest active, surpassing Trey Harris (Rome), whose streak ended Sunday. The Mariners' number two prospect has reached base safely in 25 of his 27 games.
BIG INNING BITES: Greensboro's five-run second inning put the game out of reach for West Virginia Sunday afternoon, as the Grasshoppers posted a big inning against the Power for the second straight day. All four big innings West Virginia has allowed have come on the road (Lexington, five-run third April 8 at Whitaker Bank Ballpark, Lakewood, five-run fifth May 2 at FirstEnergy Park, and Greensboro, five-run third May 4 at First National Bank Field). The Grasshoppers also tied the most hits West Virginia has allowed in a single inning (5), as well as the most hits the Power has given up overall in a game at 14. The most hits West Virginia surrendered in a single game last season was 15 (July 11 at Hickory).
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-5 Sunday afternoon and left four men on base, bringing their RISP average for the road trip to .140 (6-for-43). Overall, West Virginia is averaging .213 with RISP, the second-lowest clip in the South Atlantic League. The Columbia Fireflies are the only team with a worse situational average (.170).
FINDING HIS ROAD GROOVE: Steven Moyers turned in his first successful start away from Appalachian Power Park last time out, hurling six innings and allowing just one run on five hits while striking out six and walking one against Lakewood May 1. Prior to that, the 25-year-old was 0-1 with a 10.61 ERA outside the friendly confines of Charleston. With his third quality start of the season behind him, the southpaw has shrunk his road mark to 7.04, a difference of 3.57.
DIVISIONAL CLASHES: After playing just three games against Northern Division foes in the season's first 23 games, West Virginia is in the midst of a division-heavy stretch, including this road trip. The Power will play four of their next eight games against members of their own division, starting with the finale against Greensboro, before finishing their next homestand with a three-game set against the Kannapolis Intimidators. West Virginia is 5-4 against their division in 2019 after sweeping Lakewood from 4/15-4/17 at Appalachian Power Park, but dropping the first three in Greensboro.
OLD FRIENDS LEAVING FRESH WOUNDS: Several of the Power's former players that are currently Greensboro Grasshoppers have been the undoing of West Virginia this weekend in North Carolina. On Friday, Cam Alldred and Braeden Ogle tossed the final three innings to keep the Power's bats at bay in a one-run loss, while Rodolfo Castro mashed two homers and posted five RBI Saturday night and Samuel Reyes got the save. On Sunday, Martin and Sanchez provided a lot of the offense, with Martin going 2-for-4 with a homer and 3 RBI and Sanchez posting a 4-for-4 afternoon.
POWER POINTS: Joseph Rosa has reached base safely in 23 of his 27 games in 2019... West Virginia is now 10-5 when hitting a home run in a game... Rosa also recorded his eighth multi-hit game of the season (sixth two-hit game).
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