HICKORY, N.C. (April 12, 2018) - Calvin Mitchell stroked a two-run homer, but that was all the offense West Virginia could muster in Thursday's series opener against the Hickory Crawdads, as the Power fell 6-2 at L.P. Frans Stadium.
Mitchell lofted his second home run of the season to left-center field in the fifth inning that closed the deficit to 4-2. The Pirates' 16th-best propsect according to MLB.com, Mitchell went 2-for-5 on Thursday with the aforementioned long ball and a double in the first off Crawdads starter Alex Eubanks (1-1), who earned the victory after spinning five innings and allowing two runs on five hits while striking out a career-best eight batters.
The Crawdads (1-6) got to West Virginia starter Travis MacGregor (0-1) in the opening frame, plating four runs and chasing the right-hander from the game after just one inning, the third-shortest start of his career. MacGregor, the 2016 second round pick by Pittsburgh, struck out the first batter he faced in Eric Jenkins, but allowed a base hit to Miguel Aparicio. After Pedro Gonzalez reached on an errant throw by Rodolfo Castro, MacGregor fanned Sam Huff for the second out before walking Tyler Ratliff to load the bases.
The next batter, Melvin Novoa, cleared the bases with a three-run double to deep left, and he promptly scored on a run-scoring single from Justin Jacobs to give Hickory a 4-0 lead and end MacGregor's evening. Novoa finished with a career-best four RBI, as he drove in Huff in the fifth with a base knock to right before Kole Enright plated Ratliff for Hickory's final run of the evening.
Blake Weiman spun three innings of shutout ball in relief of MacGregor, followed by Dylan Prohoroff, who struck out a career-high five men in his three innings on the mound. Ryan Peurifoy made his professional debut on the hill, pitching a scoreless eighth frame with one strikeout.
Hickory's bullpen was equally as impressive, as Josh Advocate, Demarcus Evans and Grant Zawadzki combined to allow just one hit over the final four innings to the Power (3-5) offense.
West Virginia continues its four-game series with the Hickory Crawdads on Friday evening at L.P. Frans Stadium. RHP Gavin Wallace (0-0, 5.40 ERA) makes his second start of the year against Crawdads righty Jean Casanova (0-0, 0.00 ERA). First pitch is set for 7:00 p.m., with pregame coverage beginning at 6:40 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.