West Virginia Power: Game Notes (august 11)
West Virginia continues its four-game series against the Rome Braves tonight at State Mutual Stadium, with first pitch set for 6 p.m. RHP Hunter Stratton (4-5, 4.75 ERA) takes the mound for the Power.
WILD PITCH HANDS POWER WALK-OFF LOSS: Raul Hernandez continued his torrid stretch in the second half with a three-hit night and Oddy Nunez tossed a quality start, but the Rome Braves were able to tie the game in the ninth and win it in the 10th against Samuel Reyes, snaring a 4-3 victory in the series opener Friday night at State Mutual Stadium. Nunez and Braves starter Jasseel De La Cruz battled admirably, each tossing five scoreless innings before Rome broke the tie in the sixth on a two-run homer from Jefrey Ramos. The Power quickly knotted things up in the seventh as Hernandez worked a walk to lead off the frame before Robbie Glendinning doubled him over to third. Ryan Peurifoy then cut the deficit in half with an RBI groundout that plated Hernandez. Glendinning came home later in the frame on a wild pitch from De La Cruz, pulling West Virginia even with Rome. The Power kept rolling in the eighth, taking their first and only lead of the night on Hernandez's run-scoring knock that scored Oneil Cruz to grab a 3-2 lead. Newcomer John Pomeroy then spun a scoreless eighth in his South Atlantic League debut before ceding way to Reyes in the ninth. Reyes allowed a lead-off single to Hagen Owenby before striking out Derian Cruz. Shean Michel then singled, but Reyes induced a fly out from Justin Dean that put runners at the corners with two down. The next batter, AJ Graffanino, dribbled one in between the mound and third base that no one could get to in time, scoring Marcos Almonte from third and sending the game to extras. Rome retired West Virginia quickly and quietly in the top of the 10th, and the Braves went back to work against Reyes in the home half. With Ramos on at second base to start the inning, Reyes struck out Alan Crowley. He then intentionally walked Brendan Venter. In the next at-bat, Reyes picked off towards second base, but his throw went into center field, moving both runners into scoring position. He managed to secure a pop out from Trey Harris for the second out, but his second pitch to Almonte went to the backstop, allowing Ramos to trot home with the game-winning run.
QUAL-A-TEE OH-DEE: Nunez was stellar in his first start for West Virginia in 2018, working quickly through the first five innings on just 45 pitches. He struck out four of the first five batters he faced and managed to toss his eighth quality start of the season (first with the Power). Dating back to 2017, four of Nunez's last nine starts with West Virginia have been quality outings. The Power are now 22-15 when their starter tosses at least six innings in a game.
DH STANDS FOR DESIGNATED HERNANDEZ: Hernandez has been a force as the designated hitter for the Power this season. In seven starts as the DH, the backstop is averaging .609 (14-for-23) with two doubles and four RBI, including a 3-for-3 effort with a double, an RBI and a run scored in Friday's series opener. Hernandez has mashed since coming off the shelf in early July, boasting a .392 (29-for-74) clip with a home run and 15 RBI in 21 second-half contests. He also posted his fourth three-hit game of the season and 10th multi-hit affair Friday night.
DEAR JOHN: Pomeroy was brilliant in his South Atlantic League debut with West Virginia Friday evening. After the lead-off man reached on an error by Cruz, the Oregon State product buckled down, striking out Crowley and Venter on a pair of nasty sliders. He then induced a ground out from Harris to Cruz that ended his sole inning of work. Pomeroy has not allowed a run in his last six appearances, including his final five games with the Black Bears.
WELL....THAT WAS QUICK: In West Virginia's only extra offensive frame, the club was retired on just two pitches. With Cruz starting at second base, Calvin Mitchell stroked a line drive that was caught by Rome's second baseman at his shoe strings. He then doubled off Cruz at second base for the twin killing. The next batter, Deon Stafford, ripped a liner right at the third baseman, Almonte, on the first pitch he saw, ending the inning. The two-pitch inning has been unofficially marked by MiLB as the shortest inning, in terms of number of pitches, in Minor League Baseball history.
EXTRA, EXTRA, READ ALL ABOUT IT: The Power went to extra frames for the twelfth time this season, seeing their record drop to 6-6 after last night's walk-off loss. West Virginia has gone to extra innings five times in the second half (2-3), with all three losses coming in walk-off fashion (July 13 at Hickory, and July 25 Game 1 at Kannapolis as well). The Power suffered their fourth walk-off loss of the season Friday night. West Virginia has played in the sixth-most extra-innings games in the SAL this year, with Columbia leading the pack at 15 (6-9). However, the Power does hold the distinction of playing the longest extra-innings game in MiLB this year, a 15-inning, 4:44 marathon May 3 against Augusta that West Virginia claimed on a walk-off single by Kyle Watson at Appalachian Power Park.
POWER POINTS: West Virginia went 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position last night, stranding seven men on base... Fabricio Macias swiped his fourth stolen base of the season... Cruz committed his league-leading 33rd error.
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