Stafford's Six RBI, Stratton's Strong Start Headline 8-2 Win
ROME, Ga. - Deon Stafford drove in a career-high six runs over the final two innings and Hunter Stratton tossed seven quality innings as the Power soared to an 8-2 win over the Rome Braves Saturday night at State Mutual Stadium.
Stratton (5-5) worked a career-high seven frames, allowing six hits and two runs. He wrung up three batters and posted his third quality start of the season over 91 pitches, his second highest total of the season.
Stafford started his late offensive surge in the Power's three-run eighth. The first four hitters for West Virginia (22-25, 59-54) reached safely, with Oneil Cruz reaching on an error by the second baseman Derian Cruz to begin the inning. Lolo Sanchez and Calvin Mitchell then singled off Rome (22-25, 62-54) reliever Cutter Dyals (4-4) to load the bases for Stafford. The Pirates' 30th-best prospect per MLB.com looped a double to right-center that plated Cruz and Sanchez to give the Power a 3-1 lead. Next, Rodolfo Castro grounded out to second, which brought Mitchell in to score, extending West Virginia's lead to 4-1.
In the ninth, Fabricio Macias led off the frame with a base knock. Cruz was then hit by a pitch before Sanchez drew a walk to load the bases again. Stafford then smashed a grand slam over the right-field wall, the Power's second grand slam of the season, to put the game away in the ninth. Stafford's eighth home run of the season vaulted West Virginia ahead, 8-2.
With that grand slam, Stafford became the first Power player with six RBI in a contest since Chase Simpson accomplished the feat against the Greenville Drive August 5, 2015. He finished the night 3-for-5 and a triple shy of the cycle.
Beau Sulser (S, 6) finished the game with two scoreless innings of work, surrendering just one hit and fanning a pair to pick his sixth save in eight opportunities.
West Virginia continues its four-game series against the Rome Braves Sunday afternoon, with first pitch from State Mutual Stadium set for 2 p.m. RHP Sergio Cubilete (3-5, 5.48 ERA) toes the rubber for the Power, while the Braves counter with RHP Freddy Tarnok (4-3, 3.77 ERA). Pregame coverage begins at 1:40 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 returns home Wednesday, August 15, for the start of a seven-game homestand against the Columbia Fireflies and Charleston River Dogs. The homestand begins with Pets in the Park Night August 15 and ends with a Rock 105 Two for Tuesday August 21. The home stretch is highlighted with a Trevor Hoffman figurine giveaway as a part of the Power's Wheelers Weekend celebration August 18. The first 1,000 fans will receive the figurine, courtesy of Charleston Building and Construction Trades Council. For tickets and more information, call the Power at 304-344-2287 or visit wvpower.com.
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