HICKORY, N.C. (April 13, 2018) - Gavin Wallace turned in West Virginia's first quality start of 2018, and Oneil Cruz clubbed a pair of home runs to guide the Power to a 6-4 win over the Hickory Crawdads on Friday evening at L.P. Frans Stadium.
Wallace (1-0) spun six innings on the hill in his second Low-A start, allowing three runs on eight hits while striking out five and not surrending a single free pass. Evan Piechota earned the save after tossing the final three innings in relief.
Cruz blasted his first of two home runs in the opening frame, a three-run bomb to left-center off Hickory (1-7) starter Jean Casanova (0-1), who lasted just two innings and gave up five runs (two earned) on five hits in the loss. The Pirates' 14th-best prospect per MLB.com, Cruz crushed his second roundtripper in the seventh to deep left against Alex Speas. The infielder tallied a career-best four RBI with his two long balls. Cruz became the first Power slugger to hit two home runs in the same game since Adrian Valerio on June 22, 2017, against Lexington.
After West Virginia's three-run first, the Power (4-5) added two more in the third on an RBI groundout from Ryan Peurifoy and a bloop single to right from Chris Sharpe, who swiped two bases in the game as well.
Hickory posted a single run in each of their first three offensive frames, with two of them coming on solo homers from Miguel Aparicio and Ryan Dorow, who both notched their first home runs of the season. The Crawdads could not string together any type of momentum, however, as they went 0-for-12 with runners in scoring position on Friday.
West Virginia continues its four-game series with the Hickory Crawdads on Saturday evening at L.P. Frans Stadium. LHP Ike Schlabach (0-0, 3.18 ERA) makes his first start of the year against Crawdads righty AJ Alexy (0-0, 2.25 ERA). First pitch is set for 6:00 p.m., with pregame coverage beginning at 5:40 p.m. on The Jock 1300 and 1340 AM, as well as online at wvpower.com and via the TuneIn Radio App and the MiLB First Pitch App.
The Power return home on April 19 for an eight-game homestand against the Asheville Tourists and the Rome Braves, with tons of promotions on tap, including another Thirsty Thursday, presented by Rock 105, a postgame fireworks show, presented by Electric 102.7, and Brewfest CharlieWest on Saturday with a 2:05 p.m. first pitch, sponsored by Rock 105. Our first Pets in the Park is on April 25, while Family Buck Night returns on Monday, April 23. For tickets and more information, call 304-344-2287 or visit www.wvpower.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.