Johnson's Quality Start Lifts Power to Series Sweep
CHARLESTON, W. Va. - Evan Johnson tossed a career-high 7.2 innings and picked up his first professional to win to help the Power complete a sweep of the Lakewood BlueClaws with a 6-4 win Sunday afternoon at Appalachian Power Park.
West Virginia (30-32, 67-65) started the scoring early, as they broke through in the second with an Onil Pena RBI single that plated Matt Sanders, who singled and advanced to second on a balk earlier in the inning. Johnson (1-4) was dominant from the beginning, as he retired the first eight batters he faced and did not surrender a hit until Juan Aparicio stroked a base hit with two outs in the third.
In the bottom of the third, Taylor Lehman (2-1) walked the bases loaded with two outs before he issued another base on balls to Charlie McConnell that scored a run and extended the Power lead to 2-0. With the bases still juiced, Nick Rodriguez scorched a two-run single to left and doubled the West Virginia lead to 4-0.
Johnson continued his impressive outing over the middle three innings, as he worked through seven scoreless and tallied five strikeouts along the way. Following the seventh-inning stretch, the Power added some extra padding, as both Pena and Manny Pazos notched RBI singles to grow the lead to 6-0.
That insurance was appreciated in the final two innings, as the BlueClaws (26-34, 55-75) struck for three runs on three hits in the eighth, including a bloop two-run double from Luis Garcia, that brought Lakewood within three. The BlueClaws added another in the top of the ninth against Reeves Martin on a Yerwin Trejo RBI single that put the tying run on base. However, Martin set down Aparicio on a groundout to first and closed out the 6-4 Power win.
The win polished off a perfect record for West Virginia against the BlueClaws at Appalachian Power Park, as they posted a 6-0 mark across two three-game sweeps.
The Power now hits the road for their final road trip of the season, beginning Monday evening against the Lexington Legends at Whitaker Bank Ballpark, with first pitch set for 7:05 p.m. West Virginia sends RHP Juan Then (0-1, 1.50 ERA) to the hill, while Lexington has not named a starter. Pregame coverage begins at 6:45 p.m. on The Jock 1300 and 1340 AM, as well as online at wvpower.com and via the TuneIn Radio App and MiLB First Pitch App.
The Power returns to Appalachian Power Park for their final homestand of 2019, as they welcome in the Greensboro Grasshoppers for a four-game set beginning Friday, August 30. The highlight of the homestand comes Friday with Deaf Awareness Night, presented by the West Virginia Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, where the Power will sport special ASL-themed jerseys. These jerseys will be auctioned off on the LiveSource app during the game, and there will be interpreters throughout the ballpark! For tickets and more information, call the Power at 304-344-2287 or visit www.wvpower.com.
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