HICKORY, N.C. (June 22, 2018) - West Virginia's bats struck for five runs over the first two innings and Domingo Robles threw a seven-inning quality start to keep the Crawdads at bay as the Power claimed a 6-4 win, and the series victory, Friday evening at L.P. Frans Stadium.For a second consecutive day, Oneil
HICKORY, N.C. (June 22, 2018) - West Virginia's bats struck for five runs over the first two innings and Domingo Robles threw a seven-inning quality start to keep the Crawdads at bay as the Power claimed a 6-4 win, and the series victory, Friday evening at L.P. Frans Stadium.
For a second consecutive day, Oneil Cruz began the game with a hit, this time a single. That single extended his hitting streak to 11 games, the shortstop's third hitting streak of 10 or more games this season. After a pair of strikeouts by West Virginia (2-0, 39-29), Deon Stafford reached on an error and Cruz scooted around the base paths to score the first run of the game.
In the following inning, Chris Sharpe was able to extend his streak to 10 games in the same way Cruz did in the first--a lead-off single. Sharpe's 10-game hitting streak is West Virginia's sixth such streak this season. Sharpe would be forced out after John Bormann grounded to first in the next at-bat, but, following a Lolo Sanchez walk, Cruz stroked another single against Hickory starter Reid Anderson (2-5) that scored Bormann. Cruz tallied his team-leading 43rd RBI and has recorded a multi-hit game in five of his last six contests, while posting his 22nd multi-hit affair overall.
West Virginia's offense kept rolling through the second inning. Rodolfo Castro hit a sacrifice fly to plate Sanchez and then Ryan Peurifoy and Stafford ripped back-to-back RBI triples to increase the Power's lead to 5-0. The last time West Virginia hit back-to-back RBI triples was in game one of an April 10 doubleheader against the Lakewood BlueClaws at Appalachian Power Park.
Robles (5-4) was stellar once again, tossing seven strong frames and giving up three runs, two of which were earned, while striking out four and walking none to record his team-high seventh quality start of the season.
The Crawdads cracked the scoreboard in the fifth, as West Virginia allowed the first three Hickory (0-2, 30-40) batters to reach safely. Tyler Ratliff singled and came home on a Kole Enright two-run homer to left-center field. After that, Yonny Hernandez grounded to short, but reached safely on a throwing error from Cruz. He would later score on a one-out grounder from Ryan Dorow.
West Virginia tacked on its final run of the night in the sixth, as Joe Barlow issued four straight walks after retiring the first two batters. Sharpe's free pass was the run-scoring play, bringing in Stafford.
Matt Seelinger (S, 5) closed out the game for West Virginia, striking out the side in order and notching his fifth save in as many opportunities.
The Power concludes their three-game series against the Hickory Crawdads Saturday evening, with first pitch set for 7 p.m. from L.P. Frans Stadium. Hunter Stratton (2-3, 6.25 ERA) gets the nod for West Virginia, while the Crawdads counter with righty AJ Alexy (2-5, 4.25 ERA). Pregame coverage begins at 6:40 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.
Following the series finale Saturday, West Virginia will return to Appalachian Power Park June 24 for a Kidz Sunday Funday against the Lakewood BlueClaws. First pitch is at 4:05 p.m. That will start a six-game homestand with a pair of three-game series against Lakewood and Hickory. During the homestand, the Power will have a Two for Tuesday and Thirsty Thursday, sponsored by Rock 105, a Pets in the Park night and postgame fireworks Friday, brought to you by MVB Bank and Electric 102.7. For tickets and more information, call the Power at 304-344-2287 or visit wvpower.com.