West Virginia Power: Game Notes (July 28)
Following their 15-hit offensive surge Friday night, the Power goes for a series win tonight in the middle match of a three-game series against the Asheville Tourists, with first pitch set for 6:05 p.m. from Appalachian Power Park. RHP Travis MacGregor (1-2, 3.09 ERA) takes the hill.
15-HIT OFFENSIVE ATTACK SNAPS SKID: Jesse Medrano's four hit night headlined a 15-hit barrage from West Virginia's offense that carried them to a 7-2 win in the series opener against the Asheville Tourists Friday night at Appalachian Power Park, halting the team's seven game losing streak. After Asheville took a 1-0 lead in the first on a double steal that saw Bret Boswell take home, the Power's offense went to work against Garrett Schilling. West Virginia notched two runs in the second on a bases-loaded walk for Kyle Watson and an RBI single from Medrano before adding another in the third on Robbie Glendinning's first run-scoring knock with the Power. In the fourth, Lolo Sanchez and Rodolfo Castro connected for a pair of RBI singles to extend West Virginia's lead to 5-1. The Tourists closed the lead to three as Ryan Vilade plopped a base hit to right that scored Boswell, but that was as close as they would get. Sergio Cubilete tied his season-high for the fourth time with five innings of two-run ball, scattering five hits and striking out four while walking two. Following Cubilete, a trio of Power relievers came in and held Asheville hitless over the final four innings. Samuel Reyes was first out of the bullpen and struggled with his control, walking the bases loaded with one out. He settled down after that, fanning Austin Bernard and Shael Mendoza to end the threat. Beau Sulser entered in the seventh and locked up Asheville for two frames, tallying four strikeouts, before Matt Seelinger spun a 1-2-3 ninth inning and fanned a pair to cap a streak of 11 straight Tourists retired to end the game.
YOU WISH THAT YOU HAD JESSE'S BAT: Medrano went 4-for-4 with a double, two RBI and a run scored Friday night. Medrano's four hits tied a career-high for the Fresno State product, marking the third time in his career he has reached the four-hit plateau. Medrano became the fifth different Power batter to record four hits in a game this season, joining Ben Bengtson, Oneil Cruz, Chris Sharpe and Calvin Mitchell. Medrano notched West Virginia's first four-hit game since Bengtson collected four knocks July 12 at Hickory. Since hitting .182 over his first seven games with the power, Medrano has boasted a .288 (17-for-59) stroke over his last 19 games with a home run and 11 RBI. He has relished playing at Appalachian Power Park too, posting a .371 clip in 11 home games versus a .174 road average.
FROM THE LAND 'DOWN UNDER': Glendinning showed off in his first home game with the West Virginia Power, smacking three hits (all singles) with an RBI and a run scored. Glendinning's three hits are a new career-high for the Australian native. In six games since his promotion to the Power July 19, the shortstop is hitting .313 (5-for-16).
TIME AFTER TIME, HIT AFTER HIT: The Power's 15 hits Friday evening came one shy of the club's season high (16), which they set in their first game of the second half against the Hickory Crawdads at L.P. Frans Stadium. Over its seven-game losing streak, West Virginia totaled just 45 hits and 19 runs. Five Power batters notched multi-hit games Friday night (Sanchez, 2; Castro, 3; Glendinning, 3; Rafelin Lorenzo, 2; Medrano, 4).
GETTING BACK "INTO THE GROOVE": West Virginia's bullpen has had some rough times in the second half, holding a 4.91 ERA (56 ER/106.1 IP). However, last night the Power's relief corps was unhittable through four innings, which is a great sign, especially for Sulser, who rebounded nicely from a tough outing in Kannapolis where he did not record an out and faced only four batters. Seelinger has also started to find his groove again, tossing two scoreless innings over his last two appearances after taking eight days in between outings.
THE WALK MAN: Watson's bases-loaded walk last night was his 37th of the season, second-most on the Power to Sharpe. His 37 walks are also 10th-most in the South Atlantic League, with Columbia's Blake Tiberi leading the way with 53 free passes. West Virginia has worked 321 walks as a team in 2018, sitting atop the league in that statistic.
DON'T STOP BELIEVING: Despite the Power's 7-17 mark in July, history gives this team plenty of optimism. A year ago, West Virginia went 13-15 in July and still kept themselves in postseason contention by claiming 22 of their final 34 games, which included a 19-10 record in August. The Power currently have 36 games left in the 2018 regular season.
CELEBRATE GOOD TIMES, C'MON: Today is Ben Bengtson's 23rd birthday. Bengtson was born July 22, 1995, in Concord, New Hampshire. The West Virginia infielder is averaging .229 (52-for-227) in 68 games this season with four home runs and 26 RBI.
TOTALLY TUBULAR TIDBITS: West Virginia went 7-for-13 with runners in scoring position Friday night... Castro swiped his fifth base of the season, and first since June 27 against Hickory. The Power now has 82 SB in 2018.
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