HICKORY, N.C. (July 12, 2018) - Ben Bengtson's 4-for-4 night, paired with Beau Sulser's 3.2 hitless innings, led West Virginia to an 8-2 victory over the Hickory Crawdads Thursday night at L.P. Frans Stadium.
Sulser (4-4) came into a jam in the sixth and induced a 3-6-1 double play to end the inning. He then retired 10 of the 11 batters he faced to finish out the game, allowing just one fly out and hitting one batter. He relieved Sergio Cubilete, who tossed 4.1 five-hit innings, surrending the only two Hickory (40-48, 10-10) runs of the night.
West Virginia (48-38, 11-9) struck first in the second inning. Calvin Mitchell started the inning reaching and moving to second on an error by Hickory's first baseman, Tyreque Reed. Mitchell advanced to third on a Reid Anderson (2-6) wild pitch before Deon Stafford grounded out to short and Hickory conceded the run at the plate.
Jesse Medrano then struck out, but reached safely after hustling to first on Anderson's second wild pitch of the inning. Bengtson proceeded to single in Medrano to advance West Virginia's lead to 2-0.
Bengtson finished the evening 4-for-4, scoring a pair of runs and driving in a run with one of his two doubles on the evening.
With Fabricio Macias at the dish and Ryan Peurifoy at second with two outs in the second, a storm rolled through and began a rain delay at 7:33 p.m. The game resumed at 9:46 p.m. after a two hour and 13 minute delay.
Hunter Stratton and Anderson finished their nights before the game resumed. Stratton tossed a scoreless first inning after ceding a lead-off single to Bubba Thompson.
West Virginia increased its lead in the fifth, dealing all the damage with two outs. After Derek Heffel struck out a pair of batters, Chris Sharpe poked a single into left field. He stole second and, on Ryan Dorow's fielding error, advanced to third. After that, Rodolfo Castro stroked a base knock between first and second to score Sharpe.
The offense was not done producing there. They added two more runs in the seventh after Bengtson doubled to begin the inning. Peurifoy walked before Macias hit a sacrifice fly that turned into a fielding error on Thompson, plating Bengtson. Castro kept things rolling with an RBI double to bring home Peurifoy and increase West Virginia's lead to 5-2.
The Power's offense finished out the night with a three-run eighth. Peurifoy highlighted the inning with a double that scored Stafford before Macias laced a two-run base knock to send in Bengtson and Peurifoy.
West Virginia closes out its three-game set, and season series, with Hickory Friday night, with righty Cody Bolton (3-2, 3.15 ERA) on the mound. Hickory counters with RHP A.J. Alexy (3-7, 4.52 ERA). First pitch is set for 7 p.m. at L.P. Frans Stadium. 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 Friday's series finale, West Virginia returns home July 14 for a four-game set against the Delmarva Shorebirds at Appalachian Power Park. Saturday is Ryan Switzer bobblehead night. The first 1,000 fans in attendance will receive a Ryan Switzer bobblehead, courtesy of Thomas Health System. The Oakland Raider will make an appearance and sign autographs before the game. The homestand also includes a Kidz Sunday Funday, Family Buck Night and Rock 105 Two for Tuesday. For tickets and more information, call the Power at 304-344-2287 or visit wvpower.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.