CHARLESTON, WV (April 10, 2018) - Behind an eight-run, nine-hit offensive outburst, West Virginia took game one of a doubleheader against the Lakewood BlueClaws, 8-5, before dropping the back half of the twin bill, 15-2, on Tuesday evening at Appalachian Power Park.
GAME ONE RECAP:
The Power (3-3) offense picked up right where it left off after Sunday's twin bill sweep of Greenville, as West Virginia tacked on three runs in the opening frame against BlueClaws starter Connor Brogdon (0-1), who lasted just 1.1 innings while surrendering five runs on five hits. Oneil Cruz jumpstarted the offense in the first with a towering blast to right-center field, his first home run of the season, to give the Power a 1-0 lead. After Dylan Busby walked, Deon Stafford and Calvin Mitchell stroked consecutive RBI triples to cap the scoring in the opening inning.
West Virginia kept rolling in the second, as Ben Bengtson led off with a triple to right that just missed leaving the ballpark. Two batters later, Lolo Sanchez laced a tailing line drive to center field that Lakewood's Simon Muzzioti misplayed, as the ball took a high hop over his shoulder and rolled all the way to the wall. Sanchez sped around the basepaths for an inside-the-park home run, scoring Bengtson and extending the Power lead to 5-0.
Sanchez's inside-the-parker was the first time a West Virginia player had accomplished that feat since July 14, 2016, when Casey Hughston recorded the rare inside-the-park roundtripper against Augusta.
Lakewood (2-4) chipped away in the third against West Virginia starter Braeden Ogle , who tossed three innings and allowed three runs on two hits with four strikeouts in his Low-A debut. The southpaw retired two of the first three batters he faced in the third frame, but after issuing walks to Jake Scheiner and Jhailyn Ortiz, served up a three-run homer to Cole Stobbe that shrunk the lead to 5-3.
Mason Martin extended the lead back to three in the home half of the inning with a solo shot to the batter's eye in center, and, two innings later, Bengston laced a two-RBI double down the left field line to put the game out of reach.
Adam Oller (1-0) notched the win with three innings out of the Power bullpen, allowing two runs (one earned) and two hits with three strikeouts, while Blake Weiman tossed a perfect seventh to secure the save.
GAME 2 RECAP:
Lakewood jumped out to an early lead and never looked back in game two, scoring nine runs over their first three offensive frames while BlueClaws starter David Parkinson (1-0) kept the Power bats at bay over five innings, giving up just two hits while striking out nine, one shy of his career high.
Seven of the nine BlueClaws starters registered a hit in game two, with five sluggers collecting multi-hit efforts. Muzzioti and Josh Stephen each tallied three hits to lead the way, while Colby Fitch notched a career-best five RBI thanks to a seventh-inning grand slam off Bengtson, who came out of the Power bullpen to make his first professional appearance on the mound.
After plating four unearned runs in the first off West Virginia starter Sergio Cubilete (0-1), Muzzioti and Fitch each laced run-scoring singles in the second, and Stephen blooped an RBI double in the third that essentially ended Cubilete's day. Ike Schlabach replaced Cubilete on the rubber and promptly uncorked a wild pitch that scored Gregori Rivero before Muzzioti brought home Stephen on an RBI groundout.
Nick Maton stroked a two-run blast in the fifth off of Schlabach to stretch the lead to 10-0, and, two innings later, Muzzioti doubled in Stephen before Fitch blistered a ball down the right field line for his grand slam that capped Lakewood's scoring.
West Virginia broke the shutout in the bottom of the seventh on Busby's RBI single, while Zach Warren allowed Cruz to score on a wild pitch a few batters later.
The Power and BlueClaws wrap up their three game series Wednesday at Appalachian Power Park, with first pitch set for 10:35 a.m. LHP Domingo Robles (0-1, 12.27 ERA) will toe the slab for West Virginia, while Lakewood sends right-hander Ramon Rosso (0-0, 1.93 ERA) to oppose him. Pregame coverage begins at 10:15 a.m. on The Jock 1300 and 1340 AM, as well as online at wvpower.com, via the TuneIn Radio App and the MiLB First Pitch App. For tickets and more information, call the Power at 304-344-2287.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.