Power bats quieted in series opener at Hickory

Hickory staff sets down 19 consecutive to finish game

Ben Bengtson drilled a two-run homer, his third of the year, in the second to give West Virginia a 2-1 lead. (Perry Bennett)

By John Kocsis / West Virginia Power | July 11, 2018 6:34 PM

HICKORY, N.C. (July 11, 2018) Hickory's hot bats rallied past Ben Bengtson and Rodolfo Castro's homers to beat West Virginia 9-3 Wednesday night at L.P. Frans Stadium.

The first five batters singled for Hickory (10-9, 40-47) in the bottom of the fourth. Sam Huff knocked in the first run off Max Kranick (1-4) with a single that scored Miguel Aparicio. Next, Tyreque Reed singled to score Preston Scott. Kranick forced Justin Jacobs to ground into a bases-loaded double play that plated Pedro Gonzalez, but with Sam Huff at third, Yonny Hernandez knocked a two-bagger to bring Hickory's lead to 5-3.

After that, the Crawdads never looked back. Jacobs singled to score Reed, who led off the sixth with a double to increase Hickory's lead to 6-3.

In the eighth, Bubba Thompson smacked a no doubter over the left-center field fence while Joel Cesar was pitching to make the score 9-3.

West Virginia (10-9, 47-38) hit a pair of homers off Hickory starter Noah Bremer (3-2). Chris Sharpe led off the second inning with a single before Bengtson roped one over the right field wall to give the Power a 2-1 lead.

The switch-hitting Castro knocked his ninth homer of the year to start the third and give West Virginia some insurance and a 3-1 lead.

Bremer recorded a quality start, tossing six innings, giving up five hits and allowing three runs. After that, Joe Barlow tossed two innings of hitless relief while striking out four batters and Joseph Kuzia closed things out striking out the side in the ninth. The trio of Crawdads pitchers set down the last 19 batters they faced.

After Kranick gave up five runs in as many innings, Samuel Reyes came in for two innings of relief. He worked his way out of jams in both innings, allowing three hits, walking a batter and hitting one with a pitch, but he only gave up one run.

West Virginia will try to rebound tomorrow in game two against the Crawdads. RHP Hunter Stratton (3-3, 5.66 ERA) gets the nod for the Power, while Hickory counters with right Reid Anderson (2-5, 3.80 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.

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 and Family Buck Night. 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.

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