The Power begins a four-game series with the Delmarva Shorebirds Thursday evening at Appalachian Power Park, with first pitch set for 7:05 p.m. RHP Evan Johnson (First Low-A start) takes the hill for West Virginia, while RHP Gray Fenter (6-2, 2.14 ERA) heads to the hill for Delmarva.
WALK-OFF SAC FLY CAPS SWEEP: With the game tied at three in the bottom of the ninth, Mike Salvatore lofted a sacrifice fly to center field to score Julio Rodriguez and give West Virginia a 4-3 walk-off win over the Columbia Fireflies Wednesday afternoon at Appalachian Power Park, completing a three-game sweep. The Power struck first in the opening frame, as Matt Sanders drilled the first pitch he saw from Simeon Woods-Richardson out of the ballpark for a solo homer, putting West Virginia up 1-0. Columbia answered in the second against Devin Sweet, as Jose Medina stroked a two-out double that knotted the game at one. Sweet held the Fireflies at bay after that, however, as the right-hander hurled a career high-tying seven frames and struck out seven while scattering eight hits. Meanwhile, the Power regained the lead in the bottom of the sixth thanks to a sacrifice fly from Julio. Both teams tacked on a run in the eighth as West Virginia maintained a one-run lead into the ninth, but Dayeison Arias was unable to slam the door, serving up a leadoff homer to Shervyen Newton that tied the game at three. He battled back to strike out the next three hitters, and the Power went to work against Allan Winans. Julio was hit by a pitch on the helmet to start the inning, which Bobby Honeyman followed up by lacing a base hit to right that put runners at the corners with nobody out. Columbia then intentionally walked Austin Shenton to load the bases and create a force play at any base. Winans fanned Jake Anchia for the first out, but Salvatore delivered with a fly ball that was deep enough to center to bring in Julio and end the game.
GOING STREAKING: Thanks to his ninth-inning single that cued Salvatore's walk-off winner, Honeyman extended his hitting streak to 13 games, the longest active streak on the team. In this span, the infielder is averaging .352 (19-for-54) with a home run, six RBI and nine runs scored, and has only struck out six times. In fact, Honeyman has only fanned six times over his last 17 games, stretching across 73 at-bats. Honeyman is in the midst of his third hitting streak of eight games or more this season (May 13-20 and May 24-June 2 with identical .344 averages). The Stony Brook product is one of two batters with a hitting streak of 13 games or more this year (Jarred Kelenic, 18 games, April 11-May 2).
A SWEET STARTER: Since joining the starting rotation on June 16, Sweet has turned in some remarkable outings for the Power. Yesterday, the right-hander spun seven innings for the second time in his last three starts, and struck out more than five batters for the sixth consecutive outing. As a full-time starter, Sweet is 2-2 with a 2.41 ERA across 41 innings while punching out 42 batters compared to 10 walks. As a reliever, Sweet held a 4.04 ERA in 19 outings.
HOMERS ON HOMERS ON HOMERS: In just his second game with the Power, Sanders blasted his first home run in a West Virginia uniform in the first inning Wednesday. Over their last six games, the Power has connected for eight long balls, third-most of any SAL team in that stretch. West Virginia now has 82 home runs as a team this year, also third-most in the South Atlantic League behind Greensboro (102) and Hickory (108). The Power has homered 46 times in 48 home games, possessing the third-most home long balls in the SAL (Hickory, 68).
RAH-RAH-RAH-RAMIZ: Ryan Ramiz has continued to uptick his offense over the last few weeks, hitting safely in 12 of his last 15 games dating back to June 30. In that stretch, the New Jersey native is averaging .302 (19-for-63) with four homers, 12 RBI, 10 runs scored and eight walks. With his base knock yesterday, Ramiz pushed his hitting streak to six games, marking the 13th hitting streak of six games or more by a Power player this season. Across his six-game stretch (dating back to July 12), the Seton Hall product is averaging .364 (8-for-22) with two homers and five RBI.
PERFECTION ACHIEVED: With a win in their series finale against Columbia, the Power completed their second straight three-game sweep of the Fireflies this season (April 22-24) to cap off a perfect 6-0 record versus Columbia this year. Across the season series, West Virginia outscored the Fireflies by 24 runs. The Power has only posted one other perfect multi-series season record against a team in Power history, when they claimed all 10 meetings with Kannapolis in 2013. West Virginia now has five series sweeps this season, with four of the five coming at home.
CHANDLER PROMOTED: Following the Power's series finale with Columbia, the Seattle Mariners announced that RHP Clay Chandler had been promoted to High-A Modesto. The Kentucky native leaves the South Atlantic League with an 8-5 record and a 3.89 ERA in 19 starts, while compiling 104 strikeouts compared to 18 walks in 111.0 innings of work. The SAL Midseason All-Star is tied for the second-most wins in the league, while his strikeouts are tied for sixth-highest and his innings are third-most. LHP Nate Fisher has been transferred from Triple-A Tacoma as the corresponding move.
POWER POINTS: Charlie McConnell has not committed an error in 47 games... The Power is 22-10 in one-run games.
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