CHARLESTON, WV (June 16, 2018) - Oneil Cruz went 4-for-5 with two triples, a double and a single along with three RBI and two runs scored, leading the Power to a wild 10-8 win over the Delmarva Shorebirds in Saturday's slugfest of a middle match at Appalachian Power Park.Cruz stroked his
CHARLESTON, WV (June 16, 2018) - Oneil Cruz went 4-for-5 with two triples, a double and a single along with three RBI and two runs scored, leading the Power to a wild 10-8 win over the Delmarva Shorebirds in Saturday's slugfest of a middle match at Appalachian Power Park.
Cruz stroked his first of two RBI triples in the third inning, scoring Kyle Watson to tie the game at two after Watson singled in Chris Sharpe, who had led off the third with a walk against Shorebirds (34-32) starter Scott Burke. Calvin Mitchell finished off the third-inning scoring for West Virginia (37-28) with a sacrifice fly that brought in Cruz and gave the Power a short-lived 3-2 lead.
After Delmarva plated four runs and took a 6-3 lead in the top of the fourth on a pair of RBI singles, a fielding error and a bases-loaded walk issued by Domingo Robles, Cruz went back to work in the bottom of the inning. Following John Bormann's double to begin the frame, Brett Pope launched a two-run homer to right for his second home run of the season that brought the deficit down to one. Sharpe then singled, stole second and swiped third as Watson and Lolo Sanchez were retired, bringing Cruz back to the plate.
The West Virginia shortstop drilled a ground ball past the first baseman, Trevor Craport, and into the right-field corner. Cruz motored around the bases again, stopping at third as Sharpe came home to knot the game at six.
With his pair of triples, Cruz became the first Power batter to have two triples in a game since Logan Hill accomplished the feat on July 22, 2016, against the Charleston RiverDogs. Cruz is the first West Virginia slugger to hit RBI triples in consecutive at-bats since Chris Lashmet did it on May 30, 2012, versus the Lakewood BlueClaws.
Cruz's final run-scoring hit came in the bottom of the sixth after the Shorebirds had once again jumped back in front. With Delmarva leading 8-6 thanks to a wild pitch by Ike Schlabach (4-1) and a fielding error by Cruz in the top of the frame, Sharpe started the bottom of the inning with a lead-off single. The next batter, Watson, smoked a run-scoring double to pull the Power within one at 8-7. Sanchez sacrificed Watson over to third for the first out of the inning, bringing Cruz up again.
The Pirates' 13th-best prospect per MLB.com cracked a single up the middle off Cameron Ming (0-2), sending Watson home and tying the game at eight. Rodolfo Castro then strode to the plate and cranked the first pitch he saw over the left-field fence for his seventh home run of the season, putting West Virginia on top for good at 10-8.
Schlabach earned the win after spinning 2.2 innings in relief of Robles. Samuel Reyes (S, 2) nabbed his second save with the Power after twirling three scoreless frames and allowing just two hits while striking out a pair. Reyes has not allowed a run in his six innings pitched with West Virginia in 2018.
The Power concludes their first half schedule Sunday with the finale of a three-game set against the Delmarva Shorebirds. First pitch is set for 2:05 p.m. from Appalachian Power Park. RHP Gavin Wallace (5-0, 3.49 ERA) will toe the rubber for West Virginia, while Delmarva counters with RHP Brenan Hanifee (4-3, 2.95 ERA). Pregame coverage begins at 1:45 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.
West Virginia's first half promotional slate wraps up with Lincoln County Day, sponsored by Lincoln Primary Care and the Southern West Virginia Health System, and a special Father's Day Kidz Sunday Funday at the ballpark. Before the game, kids can play catch in the outfield, while children ages 12 and under, as well as their fathers, are permitted to run the bases after the final out, presented by SMART529 College Savings program. Several Power players will be available for autographs after the game as well. For tickets and more information, call the Power at 304-344-2287 or visit wvpower.com.