Power Blanks Crawdads in Doubleheader Sweep
HICKORY, N.C. - Cody Bolton tossed 4.1 no-hit innings in game one, and Blake Cederlind led a three-pitcher shutout in game two as the Power completed a doubleheader sweep against the Hickory Crawdads Friday evening at L.P. Frans Stadium.
West Virginia posted back-to-back shutout wins for the first time since July 12-14, 2016, when they blanked the Augusta GreenJackets in three consecutive games. The Power also recorded their first two-hitter since Mike Wallace spun a two-hit gem in game two of a doubleheader at Lakewood on August 30, 2017.
GAME 1: West Virginia 4, Hickory 0 (F/7)
Bolton cruised through the first 4.1 innings, allowing just three baserunners against him on a walk and two errors. However, he got into trouble in the fifth when Kole Enright stroked a single up the middle with one down to break up the no-hit bid. After Bolton walked Yonny Hernandez, Bubba Thompson fought off a 3-2 pitch into center to load the bases and end Bolton's outing. The righty struck out seven, raising his season total to 19.
Beau Sulser (3-3) relieved Bolton in the fifth and came up huge, striking out Pedro Gonzalez and Preston Scott to end the threat and preserve Bolton's scoreless innings streak. The Tracy, Calif., native has tossed 15.1 scoreless frames since joinig the Power (30-26).
After stranding the bases loaded in the fifth, Sulser motored through the sixth and seventh innings, fanning five Hickory (23-33) batters, including all three he faced in the seventh, to finish off the 4-0 shutout win for West Virginia in game one.
The Power got their offense going in the second after Ben Bengtson worked a walk against Crawdads starter Reid Anderson (1-4) to lead off the inning. Following a groundout by Chris Sharpe that moved Bengtson to second, John Bormann ripped an RBI double to left that plated Bengtson and gave West Virginia a 1-0 lead.
In the third, the Power tacked on three more runs. Rodolfo Castro ignited the frame with a one-out double to center, which Calvin Mitchell followed up with a single that put Castro at third. Deon Stafford then stroked a run-scoring knock to bring in Castro, extending the lead to 2-0. After Bengtson singled to load the bases, Sharpe grounded one to third that Ryan Dorow flipped to second for the force out. The turn to first from Enright was off the mark, skipping out of Tyreque Reed's glove and allowing Stafford to follow Mitchell home for a 4-0 edge.
GAME 2: West Virginia 2, Hickory 0 (F/7)
Cederlind surrendered just one hit through three innings in his first start with West Virginia in 2018. Samuel Reyes (1-0) took over in the fourth in his Power (31-26) debut and worked two scoreless innings, giving up just a two-out single to Yohel Pozo in the fourth. Joel Cesar (S, 1) twirled the final two frames for West Virginia, working around a one-out walk in the sixth to close the door on a 2-0 victory and earn his first save of the season.
Once again, Bormann got the scoring going for the Power, as the backstop stroked an RBI single in the first that scored Castro to put West Virginia in front 1-0.
In the third, Jesse Medrano singled to begin the inning and moved to second on a fielding error by left fielder Austin O'Banion. Following an Oneil Cruz groundout that sent Medrano to third, Castro lofted a deep fly ball to left, allowing Medrano to score easily from third and extend the Power's lead to 2-0.
Werner Leal (0-2) took the loss for Hickory (23-34) despite striking out six across five innings of work.
West Virginia continues its series with Hickory Saturday, with first pitch set for 6 p.m. from L.P. Frans Stadium. The Power will send RHP Hunter Stratton (1-3, 6.89 ERA) to the mound, while RHP Tyler Phillips (2-5, 3.54 ERA) is on the bump for the Crawdads. Pregame coverage begins at 5:40 p.m. on The Jock 1300 and 1340 AM, as well as online at www.wvpower.com and via the TuneIn Radio App and MiLB First Pitch App.
The Power will return to Appalachian Power Park June 15-17 for a three-game series against the Delmarva Shorebirds. The series will be West Virginia's last homestand of the first half and will be jam-packed with promotions. Fireworks Friday, presented by Electric 102.7 and Huntington Bank, kicks off the homestand on June 15, while on June 16, the Power will celebrate West Virginia Day with a Bluetooth speaker giveaway to the first 1,000 fans courtesy of Appalachian Power. West Virginia's first half promotional slate concludes Sunday, June 17, with a Lincoln County Day and Father's Day Kidz Sunday Funday at the ballpark. For tickets and more information, call the Power at 304-344-2287 or visit wvpower.com.
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