Results tagged ‘ Chris Sharpe ’

Series Preview: West Virginia Power at Hickory Crawdads July 11-13

West Virginia Power (Pittsburgh Pirates) (47-37, 10-8 T-2nd SAL North), at Hickory Crawdads (Texas Rangers) (39-47, 9-9, T-4th SAL North)

If You Plan to Go:

GAME TIMES: Wednesday-Friday 7 p.m.

 

PROMOTIONS:

Wednesday – World Record Wednesday

Thursday – Thirsty Thursday, Sandlot 25th Anniversary

Friday –Post-game Fireworks, 40th Anniversary Halloween, Halloween T-Shirt Giveaway (First 1,000 fans)

 

 

TICKETS: $9 dollars for regular seats, $14 for VIP section.

WHERE IS IT?: Clement Blvd., 1 mile west of U.S. Hwy 321, near entrance to Hickory Airport.

PARKING: All parking is $3.

CONCESSIONS: L.P. Frans Stadium has two main concession areas plus the Crawdads Café. The concession stands have your basic ballpark food: Hot dogs, burgers, chicken sandwich, BBQ, etc. Here is that menu http://www.milb.com/content/page.jsp?ymd=20130627&content_id=51970362&sid=t448&vkey=team4

The Crawdad Café has a menu that features more diverse items, including the Mac & Crawdog, Banana Foster Bites, Fried Pickles, Sloppy Burger, and more. Click here for the menu http://www.milb.com/documents/3/3/4/185907334/cafe_menu_6eeko6n2.pdf

 

PROBABLES (West Virginia/ Hickory)

Thursday: RHP Hunter Stratton vs. RHP Noah Bremer

Friday: RHP Cody Bolton vs. RHP Reid Anderson

Saturday: Travis MacGregor vs. RHP AJ Alexy

 

Recent Series History:

West Virginia has dominated the series in 2018 with a 14-5 record against Hickory. which includes a 7-3 mark at L.P. Frans Stadium. The Power swept the Crawdads in three-straight to open the second half.

 

About the Crawdads:

Prospects to watch- Hickory (rankings are by MLB.com):

OF Bubba Thompson (No. 6): 2018 stats: .269/.319/.394, 9 2B, 2 3B, 3 HR, 12 BB, 53 K, 12 SB, 2 CS. This season vs. West Virginia: 6-for-32, 2 2B, 4 BB, 7 K, 2 SB. Last series at Delmarva: 3-for-11, 3 K, SB. Has reached base in 12 of his last 13 games (17-for-54, 2B, 2 BB). First-round pick of the Rangers in 2018 out of McGill-Toolen High, Mobile, AL.

OF Pedro Gonzalez (No. 9) 2018 stats: .229/.283/.411, 15 2B, 3 3B, 7 HR, 16 BB, 78 K, 6 SB, 2 CS. This season vs. West Virginia: 16-for-58, 5 BB, 14 K, 2 SB. Last series at Delmarva: 3-for-13, 2B, 3B 5 K. Obtained by the Rangers in 2017 from the Colorado Rockies for Jonathan Lucroy. Native of Santo Domingo, D.R.

RHP AJ Alexy (No. 16): 2018 stats: 14 games (12 starts), 63.2 IP, 51 H, 38 R (32 ER), 3 HR, 7 HB, 39 BB, 76 K, 4.52 ERA, .224 OBA, 1.41 WHIP. This season vs. West Virginia: 4 starts, 19 IP, 16 H, 14 R (12 ER), 2 HR, 1 HB, 9 BB, 24 K. Last start at Kannapolis 7/5: 6 IP, 4 H, 2 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 2 K. Joined the Crawdads after a trade that sent Yu Darvish to the Dodgers. Originally 11th round pick of Dodgers out of Twin Valley HS, Elverson, Pa. SAL Top-10 Rankings: T-3rd walks, T-5th losses (7), T-7th hit batters.

RF Miguel Aparicio (No. 17): 2018 stats at Hickory: .209/.263/.310, 3 2B, 2 3B, 3 HR, 11 BB, 29 K, 0 SB, 4 CS. This season vs. West Virginia: 5-for-26, 2 HR, 4 K, CS Last series at Delmarva: 4-for-13, K. Signed with the Rangers as an international free agent in 2015. Native of San Carlos, Venezuela. Assigned to Hickory 6/29 after a two-weak stint at short-season Spokane. He is 8-for-37 with a HR, BB and 5 Ks in nine games since his return.

C-1B Sam Huff (No. 24): 2018 stats: .234/.296/.397, 14 2B, 9 HR, 15 BB, 80 K, 4 SB. This season vs. West Virginia: 7-for-42, 2B, HR, 5 BB, 11 K. Last series at Delmarva: 3-for-10, 2B, 2 BB, 5 K. Seventh round pick of Rangers in 2016 out of Arcadia HS (Phoenix, Ariz.). Named to the SAL All-Star Game.

RHP Tyler Phillips (No. 29): 2018 stats: 15 games (15 starts) 88 IP, 86 H, 35 R (32 ER), 3 HR, 3 HB, 10 BB, 85 K, 3.427 ERA, .254 OBA, 1.09 WHIP. Not scheduled to pitch in the series. Last start 7/9 at Delmarva: 7 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 11 K. In his last 26 starts stretch to 6/23/17 at Spokane 151.2 IP, 17 BB, 158 K. Sixteenth-round pick of the Rangers in 2016 out of Bishop Eustace HS, Pennsauken, N.J. Native of Lumberton N.J. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 2nd walks-per-9-inning ratio among starters (1.02), 10th innings pitched. Named to the SAL All-Star Game.

 

Others to watch – Hickory:

RHP Noah Bremer: 2018 stats: 8 games (8 starts), 35.1 IP, 40 H, 19 R (16 ER), 3 HR, 10 BB, 36 K, 4.08 ERA, .284 OBA, 1.42 WHIP. Last game vs. Greensboro 7/4: 6 IP, 4 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 HR, 2 BB, 6 K. This season vs. West Virginia: 2 starts, 9 IP, 7 H, 5 R (1 ER), 3 BB, 12 K. Sixth-round pick of the Rangers in 2017 out of the Univ. of Washington. Attended Berkeley (Calif.) HS.

RHP Reid Anderson: 2018 stats: 13 games (11 starts), 64 IP, 56 H, 31 R (27 ER), 1 HR, 3 HB, 19 BB, 56 K, 3.80 ERA, .233 OBA, 1.17 WHIP. This season vs. West Virginia: 4 starts, 21.1 IP, 20 H, 14 R (12 ER), 2 HB, 7 BB, 19 K. Last start 7/4 at Kannapolis: 6 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 8 K. Seventeenth-round pick of the Rangers in 2016 out of Millersville (Pa.) Univ. Attended New Egypt (N.J.) HS.

RHP DeMarcus Evans: 2018 stats: 21 games, 2 saves, 33.1 IP, 19 H, 9 R (9 ER), 1 HR, 22 BB, 60 K, 2.43 ERA, .168 OBA, 1.23 WHIP. This season vs. West Virginia: 4 games, 7 IP, 2 H, 2 BB, 17 K. Last game at Delmarva 7/9: 1 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 5 K. Last 7 outings: 11.1 IP, 3 H, 3 BB, 25 Ks. Twenty-fifth round pick of the Rangers in 2015 out of Petal HS (MS).

RHP Joe Barlow: 2018 stats: 23 games, 2 saves, 37 IP, 13 H, 14 R (11 ER), 35 BB, 54 K, 2.68 ERA, .123 BA, 1.32 WHIP. This season vs. West Virginia : 4 games, 6.1 IP, 2 H, 2 R (1 ER), 8 BB, 10 K. Last game 7/8 at Delmarva: 1 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), BB, 2 K. Eleventh-round pick of the Rangers in 2016 out of Salt Lake CC. Attended Riverton (Utah) HS. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 1st OBA by relievers (.103), 3rd SAL among relievers Ks per 9 IP ratio (13.14), T-9th walks.

C Yohel Pozo: 2018 stats: .248/.294/.387, 11 2B, 1 3B, 8 HR, 17 BB, 33 K. This season vs. West Virginia: 15-for-53, 2 2B, 3B, HR, BB, 4 K. Last series at Delmarva: 1-for-8. Signed with the Rangers as an international free agent in 2013. A native of Maracaibo, Venezuela. Named to the SAL All-Star Game. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 3rd plate appearance to strikeout ratio (8.67).

IF Ryan Dorow: 2018 stats: .295/.361/.456, 10 2B, 3B, 9 HR, 20 BB, 68 K, 4 SB, 2 CS. This season vs. West Virginia: 14-for-48, 2 2B, HR, 2 BB, 11 K, SB, CS. Last series at Delmarva: 5-for-13, 2B, 3B, 3 K. Had a 20-game, on-base streak stopped 7/1. Thirtieth-round pick of the Rangers in 2017 out of Adrian College (MI). Attended South Haven (MI) HS.

2B-SS Yonny Hernandez: 2018 stats (Hickory only): .250/.367/.314, 6 2B, 3 3B, 33 BB, 34 K, 18 SB, 5 CS. This season vs. West Virginia: 6-for-38, 2B, 8 BB, 9 K, 2 SB CS. Last series at Delmarva: 3-for-9, K, 2 SB. Signed with the Rangers as an international free agent in 2014. Native of Maturin, Venezuela. SAL Top-10 Rankings: T1st sacrifice bunts (11), 4th stolen bases, 8th walks, 10th on-base pct.

1B Tyreque Reed: 2018 stats: .256/.311/.433, 14 2B, 6 HR, 11 BB, 59 K. This season vs. West Virginia: 7-for-26, HR, 3 BB, 6 K. Last series at Delmarva: 4-for-11, 2 2B, BB, 3 K. Has 8 multi-hit tallies in his last 7 games. Eighth-round pick of the Rangers in 2017 out of Itawamba Community College in Mississippi. Attended Houlka (MS) HS.

About the Power:

Prospects to watch-West Virginia (rankings by MLB.com):

CF Lolo Sanchez (No. 8): 2018 stats: .233/.309/.335, 13 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR, 25 BB, 50 K, 16 SB, 7 CS. This season vs. Hickory: 8-for-42, 2B, HR, 5 BB, 13 K, 3 SB, CS. Last series vs. Hagerstown: 0-for-6, 3 BB, K. Signed with the Pirates as an international free agent in 2015. Native of Santo Domingo, D.R. SAL Top-10 Rankings: T-8th steals.

SS Oneil Cruz (No. 12): 2018 stats: .304/.364/.511, 51 R, 17 2B, 7 3B, 11 HR, 53 RBI, 29 BB, 79 K, 9 SB, 2 CS. This season vs. Hickory: 16-for-53, 3 2B, 4 HR, 8 BB, 13 K, 2 SB. Last series vs. Hagerstown: 3-for-10, HR, 3 BB, K, SB. Traded to the Pirates last summer for former Crawdads LHP Tony Watson. Signed as an international free agent by the L.A. Dodgers in 2015. Native of Nizao, D.R. SAL Top-10 Rankings: T-2nd 3B, 3rd total bases, T-4th hits, T-4th RBI, 4th OPS (.876), 5th batting avg., 6th runs, T-7th at-bats, 7th OBP, 7th slugging pct. T-9th HR.

RF Calvin Mitchell (No. 15): 2018 stats: .304/.368/.487, 18 2B, 3 3B, 8 HR, 25 BB, 66 K, 4 SB. CS. This season vs. Hickory: 10-for-39, 1 2B, 1 HR, 3 BB, 12 K. Last series vs. Hagerstown: 1-for-7, 2B, BB, K. Second-round pick of the Pirates in 2017 out of Rancho Bernardo (Calif.) HS. Native of San Diego. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 6th batting avg., 9th OBP. Named to SAL All-Star Game.

RHP: Travis McGregor (No. 23): 2018 stats: 9 games (9 starts), 39 IP, 39 H, 21 R (11 ER), 2 HR, 4 HB, 9 BB, 55 K, 2.54 ERA, .252 OBA, 1.23 WHIP. This season vs. Hickory: 2 starts: 10 IP, 6 H, 2 R (1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 8 K. Last start 7/8 vs. Hagerstown: 5 IP, 3 H, 2 R, HB, BB, 6 K. Second-round pick of the Pirates in 2016 out of East Lake HS, Tarpon Springs, FL.0

C Deon Stafford (No. 29): 2018 stats: .255/.319/.398, 12 2B, 3 3B, 5 HR, 18 BB, 68 K. This season vs. Hickory: 12-for-39, 2 2B, 3B, 5 BB, 13 K. Fifth-round pick of the Pirates in 2016 out of St. Joseph’s Univ. (Pa.) Native of Hummelstown, Pa. Attended Lower Dauphin HS. Named to SAL All-Star Game.

 

Others to watch- West Virginia:

RHP Hunter Stratton: 2018 stats: 13 games (11 starts), 55.2 IP, 56 H, 42 R (35 ER), 7 HR, 3 HB, 31 BB, 56 K, 5.66 ERA, .265 OBA, 1.56 WHIP. This season vs. Hickory: 10 IP, 7 H, 4 R (4 ER), 1 HR, 3 BB, 9 K. Last start 7/6 vs. Lexington: 5 IP, 5 H, 4 R (4 ER), HR, 3 BB, 5 K. Sixteenth-round pick of the Pirates in 2017 out of Walters State (TN) CC. Attended Sullivan East (Bristol, TN). SAL Top-10 Rankings: 1st wild pitches (16).

RHP Cody Bolton: 2018 stats: 7 games (7 starts): 34.1 IP, 32 H, 12 R (12 ER), 3 HR, 1 HB, 5 BB, 33 K, 3.15 ERA, .242 OBA, 1.13 WHIP. This season vs. Hickory: 4.1 IP, 2 H, 2 BB, 7 K. Last start 7/7 vs. Hagerstown: 6 IP, 6 H, 3 R (3 ER), 1 HR, 4 K. Twentieth-round pick of the Pirates in 2017 out of Tracy (CA) HS.

LF Chris Sharpe: 2018 stats: .264/.367/.368, 11 2B, 2 3B, 4 HR, 38 BB, 92 K, 10 SB, 4 CS. This season vs. Hickory: 20-for-55, 4 2B, 2 3B, HR, 5 BB, 16 K, 5 SB. Last series vs. Hagerstown: 0-for-11, 7 K. Fourteenth-round pick of the Pirates in 2017 out of Univ. of Massachusetts-Lowell. Native of Burlington, Mass., attended Bridgton (Mass.) Academy. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 4th BB, T-4th games played (80), 10th K.

RHP Beau Sulser: 2018 stats: 20 games, 4 saves, 34.1 IP, 30 H, 11 R (9 ER), 2 HR, 2 HR, BB, 37 K. This season vs. Hickory: Save, 8.2 IP, 5 H, 2 R (1 ER), HB, 11 K. Last outing 7/9 vs. Hagerstown: 2 IP, H, 2 K. Tenth-round pick of the Pirates in 2017 out of Dartmouth. Attended Ramona HS, Santa Ysabel, CA. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 1st walks to 9 IP ratio among relievers (0.26), 4th baserunners per 9 IP ratio (8.65).

3B Jesse Medrano: 2018 stats: .257/.325/.400, 2 2B, HR, 2 BB, 6 K, SB. This season vs. Hickory: 1-for-9, 2 K. This season vs. Hickory: 1-for-9, 2 K. Last series vs. Hagerstown: 3-for-9, HR, BB, 2 K, SB. Thirty-first round pick of the Pirates in 2017 out of Fresno (CA) State. Attended Clayton Valley HS (Concord , CA).

Series Preview: Hickory at West Virginia June 27-29

Hickory Crawdads (Texas Rangers) (33-41, 3-3 T-4th SAL North) at West Virginia Power (Pittsburgh Pirates) (41-30, 4-1 T-1st SAL North), Appalachian Power Park, Charleston, WV.

 

If You Plan to Go:

GAME TIMES: Wednesday – Friday 7:05 p.m.

 

Promotions:

Wednesday –  Pets in the Park

Thursday – Thirsty THursday

Friday – Postgame Fireworks

 

TICKETS: Advance tickets: General Admission $6, Box Seats $8. Game Day: Friday & Saturday $9-$11, Sunday $8-$10.

 

Where is it?: From Hickory: I-40 East to I-77 North. I-64West to Capital St./Leon Sullivan Way Exit #100. Go to the 1st traffic light and turn left onto Washington St. Go to the 2nd traffic light and turn left onto Morris St. Go through 1 traffic light and Appalachian Power Park is on the left.

 

PARKING: Off-site parking at meters, parking garages, etc.

 

CONCESSIONS: Along with basic ballpark fare, there is an Italian Stand, Portable Grill with various cheesesteaks, Italian sausages, brats, etc., BBQ, etc. Click here for the menu.

http://www.milb.com/content/page.jsp?ymd=20090212&content_id=40995192&sid=t525&vkey=team1

 

Probables (Hickory/ West Virginia):

Wednesday: RHP Noah Bremer vs. RHP Gavin Wallace

Thursday: RHP Reid Anderson vs. RHP Max Kranick

Friday: RHP AJ Alexy vs. LHP Domingo Robles

 

Recent Series History:

The Power is 9-4 this season, which included a three-game sweep at Hickory last week. West Virginia won 2 of 3 in the only series played at Charleston in May.

About the Crawdads:

Hickory swept first-half Southern Division contender Augusta (S.C.) three straight to forge a 3-3 homestand to open the second half. The Crawdads are 13-21 on the road this season, but are 10-8 over their last three road trips… Although the Crawdads are still 13th out of 14 teams in the South Atlantic League in batting average, they’ve hit well of late and raised the overall team average from .231 to .241 in the last week. Facing the team with the second-best team ERA entering the previous series, Hickory scored 21 runs in sweeping Augusta. Hickory increasingly continues to rely on power, as the team is now third in the SAL with 63 homers. Despite the dingers, the Crawdads are tenth in runs scored…. On the mound, the Crawdads have struggled with two-out rallies recently. In the last homestand, the Crawdads gave up 19 runs after two outs, 14 of those after the first two batters were retired.

 

Prospects to watch- Hickory (rankings are by MLB.com):

OF Bubba Thompson (No. 6): 2018 stats: .248/.309/.401, 8 2B, 2 3B, 3 HR, 11 BB, 45 K, 7 SB, 1 CS. This season vs. West Virginia: 4-for-24, 2 2B, 2 BB, 5 K, 1 SB. First-round pick of the Rangers in 2018 out of McGill-Toolen High, Mobile, AL.

OF Pedro Gonzalez (No. 9) 2018 stats: .236/.288/.408, 11 2B, 2 3B, 6 HR, 13 BB, 61 K, 6 SB, 2 CS. This season vs. West Virginia: 13-for-48, 3 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 2 BB, 11 K, 2 SB. Obtained by the Rangers in 2017 from the Colorado Rockies for Jonathan Lucroy. Native of Santo Domingo, D.R.

RHP AJ Alexy (No. 16): 2018 stats: 12 games (10 starts), 53.2 IP, 43 H, 33 R (27 ER), 3 HR, 7 HB, 34 BB, 70 K, 4.53 ERA, .223 OBA, 1.43 WHIP. This season vs. West Virginia: 3 starts, 15 IP, 12 H, 11 R (9 ER), 2 HR, 6 BB, 20 K. Joined the Crawdads after a trade that sent Yu Darvish to the Dodgers. Originally 11th round pick of Dodgers out of Twin Valley HS, Elverson, Pa. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 3rd walks, T-5th hit batters.

C-1B Sam Huff (No. 24): 2018 stats: .250/.312/.439, 13 2B, 9 HR, 12 BB, 64 K, 3 SB This season vs. West Virginia: 4-for-30, 1 2B, 1 HR, 3 BB, 9 K. Seventh round pick of Rangers in 2016 out of Arcadia HS (Phoenix, Ariz.). Named to the SAL All-Star Game.

RHP Tyler Phillips (No. 29): 2018 stats: 13 games (13 starts) 76 IP, 80 H, 30 R (28 ER), 3 HR, 2 HB, 8 BB, 65 K, 3.55 ERA, .269 OBA, 1.16 WHIP. This season vs. West Virginia: 2 starts, 13.1 IP, 8 H, 4 R (3 ER), 2 BB, 8 K. Sixteenth-round pick of the Rangers in 2016 out of Bishop Eustace HS, Pennsauken, N.J. Native of Lumberton N.J. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 1st walks-per-9-inning ratio among starters (0.95), T-8th innings pitched

Others to watch – Hickory:

RHP Noah Bremer: 2018 stats: 6 games (6 starts), 24.1 IP, 34 H, 17 R (15 ER), 2 HR, 6 BB, 22 K. This season vs. West Virginia: 1 start, 4 IP, 7 H, 6 H, 5 ER, 1 HR, 1 BB, 4 K. Sixth-round pick of the Rangers in 2017 out of the Univ. of Washington. Attended Berkeley (Calif.) HS.

RHP Reid Anderson: 2018 stats: 10 games (8 starts), 52.2 IP, 50 H, 27 R (23 ER), 1 HR, 3 HB, 16 BB, 42 K, 3.93 ERA, .249 OBA, 1.25 WHIP. This season vs. West Virginia: 3 starts, 16 IP, 17 H, 11 R (9 ER), 2 HB, 5 BB, 13 K. Seventeenth-round pick of the Rangers in 2016 out of Millersville Univ. (Pa.). Attended New Egypt (N.J.) High School.

C Yohel Pozo: 2018 stats: .250/.296/.397, 11 2B, 1 3B, 7 HR, 15 BB, 30 K. This season vs. West Virginia: 11-for-42, 2 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 1 K. Signed with the Rangers as an international free agent in 2013. A native of Maracaibo, Venezuela. Named to the SAL All-Star Game. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 3rd plate appearance to strikeout ratio (8.33).

IF Ryan Dorow: 2018 stats: .302/.365/.467, 9 2B, 8 HR, 19 BB, 57 K, 2 SB, 2 CS. This season vs. West Virginia: 11-for-36, 2 2B, 1 HR, 2 BB, 6 K. Thirtieth-round pick of the Rangers in 2017 out of Adrian College (MI). Attended South Haven (MI) HS. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 8th batting avg.

RP DeMarcus Evans: 2018 stats: 17 games, 26.2 IP, 18 H, 9 R (9 ER), 1 HR, 21 BB, 45 K, 3.04 ERA, .196 OBA, 1.46 WHIP. This season vs. West Virginia. 3 games, 2 H, 2 BB, 11 K. Twenty-fifth round pick of the Rangers in 2015 out of Petal HS (MS).

 

About the Power:

The Power swept Hickory last weekend and then returned home split two games with Lakewood (N.J.) in a rain-shortened series… West Virginia has been tough on the road, easily sporting the SAL’s best road record at 22-11. But the comforts of home has been anything but, as the Power are just 19-19… Offenses tend to put the ball in play against the Power’s pitchers, as the staff is next to last in strikeouts and walks allowed… Defensively, the Power are 12th in errors committed and fielding pct.

Prospects to watch-West Virginia (rankings by MLB.com):

CF Lolo Sanchez (No. 9): 2018 stats: .226/.297/.322, 11 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 19 BB, 42 K, 14 SB, 6 CS. This season vs. Hickory: 5-for-37, 1 2B, 4 BB, 11 K, 2 SB, 1 CS. Signed with the Pirates as an international free agent in 2015. Native of Santo Domingo, D.R. SAL Top-10 Rankings: T-7th steals.

SS Oneil Cruz (No. 13): 2018 stats: .311/.370/.534, 15 2B, 7 3B, 10 HR, 24 BB, 69 K. This season vs. Hickory: 16-for-47, 3 2B, 4 HR, 6 BB, 10 K, 2 SB. Traded to the Pirates last summer for former Crawdads LHP Tony Watson. Signed as an international free agent by the L.A. Dodgers in 2015. Native of Nizao, D.R. SAL Top-10 Rankings:  2nd triples, 2nd RBI, 3rd hits, 3rd total bases, 3rd OPS (.879), 5th batting avg., 5th slugging pct., 6th at-bats, 10th OBP,

C Deon Stafford (No. 30): 2018 stats: .289/.347/.457, 12 2B, 3 3B, 5 HR, 15 BB, 57 K. This season vs. Hickory: 11-for-28, 2 2B, 1 3B, 4 BB, 10 K. Fifth-round pick of the Pirates in 2016 out of St. Joseph’s Univ. (Pa.) Native of Hummelstown, Pa. Attended Lower Dauphin HS. Named to SAL All-Star Game.

 

Others to watch- West Virginia:

RHP Gavin Wallace: 2018 stats: 15 games (13 starts), 62.2 IP, 52 H, 27 R (25 ER), 10 HR, 10 BB, 39 K. This season vs. Hickory: 2 starts: 11.2 IP, 12 H, 5 R, 3 HR, 4 BB, 8 K. Fifteenth-round pick of the Pirates in 2017 out of Fairfield (CT) Univ. Attended Madison (NJ) HS. SAL Top-10 Rankings: T-7th HRs allowed.

RHP Max Kranick: 2018 stats: 6 games (6 starts), 29.1 IP, 31 H, 13 R (13 ER), 4 HR, 4 HB, 9 BB, 17 K, 3.99 ERA, .227 OBA, 1.36 WHIP. This season vs. Hickory: 2 starts, 9 IP, 10 H, 4 R, 4 BB, 5 K. Eleventh-round pick or the Pirates in 2016 out of Valley View HS in Archbald, PA.

LHP Domingo Robles: 2018 stats: 14 games (14 starts), 72.2 IP, 73 H, 46 R (26 ER), 5 HR, 4 HB, 15 BB, 59 K, 3.22 ERA, .250 OBA, 1.21 WHIP. This season vs. Hickory: 2 starts, 13 IP, 14 H, 6 R (5 ER), 2 HR, 8 K. Signed with the Pirates as an international free agent in 2014. Native of Imbert, D.R. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 9th hits allowed.

LF Chris Sharpe: 2018 stats: .282/.375/.384, 9 2B, 2 3B, 3 HH, 30 BB, 73 K, 10 SB, 4 CS. This season vs. Hickory: 18-for-46, 3 2B, 2 3B, 3 BB, 13 K, 5 SB. Fourteenth-round pick of the Pirates in 2017 out of Univ. of Massachusetts-Lowell. Attended Bridgton (Maine) Academy. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 6th walks, 6th OBP

 

Power Cruzing: West Virginia takes early lead, evens series

In similar circumstances to game one of the series, the West Virginia Power took advantage of an error in the first to score three times and never trailed during a 6-4 win over the Hickory Crawdads in front of 2,925 fans at L.P. Frans Stadium Friday night.

The Power (4-5) snapped a three-game losing streak with the win and evened the series with the Crawdads (1-7).

In game one of the series Thursday, the Crawdads used a first-inning error to score four unearned runs on the way to a 6-2 win. On Friday, the roles were reversed.

After Crawdads starter Jean Casanova (0-1) retired the first two batters in the first, Dylan Busby hit a high pop-up near home plate. Catcher Sam Huff settled under the ball, which carried to the fair side of home plate and ticked off the glove for the error. The Power made Hickory pay with a double by Mason Martin and a three-run homer by Oneil Cruz.

Miguel Aparicio cut the deficit to 3-1 with his first homer of the season, a high drive off the top row of billboards in right. Ryan Dorow added his first blast of the season in the second.

The Power regained their initial three-run lead in the third. Cruz walked and Kyle Watson reached on an infield hit that chased Casanova. Sal Mendez entered and recorded two straight grounders, the second by Ryan Peurifoy scored Cruz. Chris Sharpe blooped a single into short right to bring in Watson and the Power led 5-2.

From there, the Crawdads threatened several times with runners scoring position in five of the last seven innings. Melvin Nova singled and scored on Tyler Ratliff’s double to get Hickory back within 5-3. However, Yohel Pozo grounded to third and Gavin Wallace fanned Huff to strand the runner.

Dorow doubled with one out in the fourth, but never advanced. Pozo double to start the sixth, but he, too, never moved.

Cruz’s second homer of the night in the seventh pushed the Power ahead 6-3 before Pedro Gonzalez tripled and scored to create what turned out to be the final margin.

The Crawdads loaded the bases with two outs in the eighth, but reliever Evan Piechota struck out Gonzalez to end the attempted rally.

Piechota then worked around a two-out single in the ninth to record the three-inning save (1).

Wallace got the win (1-0) with six innings of work during which he gave up three runs on eight hits.

 

Thoughts:

***This felt like a game that Hickory would win. The Power stranded seven over the first four innings and the Crawdads responded each time West Virginia scored. However, the inability by Hickory to capitalize on presented opportunities ultimately doomed the team. The Crawdads went 0-for-12 with runners in scoring position for the game and left 10. Through 7 games with RISP, the team is at .190/.239/.206. It feels like the pitcher has the advantage rather than the other way around.

***First home appearance for Alex Speas and it looked sharp. Cruz touched him for the second homer, but the pitch appeared to be a fastball that was down and away. Cruz lined it opposite field, down the line in left. Otherwise, Speas brought a live fastball (sorry, no speed gun readings) with a change and breaking ball (looked like a slider) that kept hitters honest. He fanned four of the last five swinging.

***Wallace didn’t appear to have his best stuff. Was told by the Power radio guy that keeping his sinker down was the key to his success. Wallace left a good bit up that Hickory hit hard. But Wallace mixed in the secondaries well until he could find the touch on the sinker and he went on to record nine groundball outs. While fastball command wasn’t there, the control was as he issued no walks. He seemed poised when in troubled and never panicked. After the Power pulled their starter after the first on Thursday, Wallace’s outing was a balm to the Power’s staff.

***Casanova should have been out of the first with just six pitches, but the error started a chain of events from which he never recovered. Like Wallace, he also had command issues with the fastball and it was punished. One wonders what his evening would be like had the error not happened. However, he seemed to panic and was never the same.

***The first “Wow” moment for me this season was Gonzalez’s triple in the seventh. He took a Piechota offering and lined it hard into open grass down into the right field corner. Gonzalez was in full stride between first and second… and then accelerated. It was another gear!