Trio of Big Frames Propel 'Birds over Power
CHARLESTON, WV - The Delmarva Shorebirds used a trio of three-run innings to overwhelm the West Virginia Power, winning 9-5 on Friday night at Appalachian Power Park.
Ruben Garcia (1-0) earned the win in relief for the Shorebirds (20-9, 68-30), allowing an unearned run on one hit in 2.2 innings in relief. Benjamin Onyshko (3-2) blew a save and took the loss for the Power (14-15, 51-48), giving up five runs on six hits in just 1.1 innings.
For the second straight night the Power took control early. With two out in the bottom of the first, Julio Rodriguez banged a double off the top of the wall in center, and after a passed ball Bobby Honeyman laced an RBI single, putting West Virginia up 1-0. In the second Mike Salvatore crushed a solo home run to left, the first of his pro career, doubling the Power lead at 2-0.
Delmarva once again woke up the bats in the fifth inning. Jean Carlos Encarnacion worked a one-out walk and advanced to second on a groundout. Robert Neustrom then singled him home to make it 2-1, and Adam Hall followed with a double to put men on second and third. Seamus Curran came up next an ripped a liner to right that bounced so hard off the wall Curran could only get a single out of it, but Neustrom and Hall scored to put the Shorebirds up 3-2.
The Power answered in their half of the fifth. Salvatore and Nick Rodriguez pegged back-to-back leadoff singles, and two batters later Matt Sanders doubled them both home to make it 4-3 West Virginia. Sanders later tried to score on a Honeyman single to left, but Jaylen Ferguson threw him out at the plate to end the inning.
In the bottom of the sixth, Austin Shenton reached on a leadoff error, advanced two bases on two balks, and scored on a Salvatore sac fly, pushing the Power lead to 5-3.
The Shorebirds erupted again in the seventh. Encarnacion sparked the rally again with a leadoff single, and Neustrom singled two batters later, sending Encarnacion to third. Hall slashed his second double of the game up the middle, scoring Encarnacion and moving Neustrom up to third. Neustrom came home on a wild pitch to tie the game, and Curran chipped a single into right, scoring Hall to put Delmarva back up 6-5.
In the eighth Delmarva took advantage of some wild West Virginia pitching. Ryne Ogren legged out a leadoff infield single, and Alexis Torres and Nick Horvath worked back-to-back walks to load the bases. Ogren tried to score on a would-be wild pitch and was tagged out, and Encarnacion struck out to put two quick outs on the board. Torres then came home on a passed ball, sliding around a tag, and Horvath scored as Onyshko's very next offering went wild. Ferguson sparked a new rally with a double, and Neustrom singled to bring him home, making it a third three-spot on the night and a 9-5 Shorebird lead.
Felix Bautista came in from there and retired the final six Power batters in a row, striking out four and hitting 100 mph at least five times.
Neustrom worked his first four-hit game of the year to lead the Shorebirds, going 4-for-5 with a double, two runs, and two RBIs. Curran went 2-for-5 with three RBIs. Hall finished 3-for-5 with two doubles, two runs, and an RBI, and Encarnacion went 2-for-4 with a pair of runs.
Salvatore led the way at the plate for the Power, going 2-for-3 with a homer, two runs, and two RBIs. Honeyman finished 2-for-4 with a run and an RBI.
Drew Rom started for Delmarva and lasted 4.1 innings, allowing four runs on seven hits with no walks and a career-high nine strikeouts. West Virginia's Josaias De Los Santos tossed four scoreless but folded in the fifth, allowing three runs on six it in a five-inning no-decision.
The win was the Shorebirds' 68th of the season, matching their win total from all of 2018 (68-66).
The Shorebirds go for a series win and sixth straight over the Power on Saturday night. Grayson Rodriguez (7-2, 2.15) takes his latest turn for Delmarva against West Virginia's Nate Fisher (first start). First pitch is set for for 6:05 p.m. and pregame coverage on Fox Sports 960 AM and the MiLB First Pitch App begins at 5:50 with Will DeBoer on the call.
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South Atlantic League Stories from July 19, 2019
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