Coal Valley News
CHARLESTON - Ryne Inman finished off the first-ever nine inning complete game shutout in Power history in Thursday night's 3-0 win over the Lakewood BlueClaws at FirstEnergy Park.
Inman struck out a career-high 12 hitters in the gem and did not walk a batter throughout the ballgame. West Virginia provided some run support for their starter in the third, when Charlie McConnell laced a triple off the wall in left field and scored Onil Pena from second to give the Power a 1-0 lead.
McConnell added another RBI in the fifth with a sacrifice fly that plated Mike Salvatore to expand the West Virginia advantage to 2-0. The Power tacked on their final run in the eighth, as Julio Rodriguez scored on a wild pitch from second base to make it 3-0.
Inman ran into a bit of trouble in the bottom of the inning with a one-out double stroked by Carlos De La Cruz, but rebounded to strike out the side and tie his career-high with ten strikeouts. In the ninth, Inman set down the BlueClaws in order and notched two strikeouts.
INCREDIBLE INMAN: After he did not make it past the fourth inning in each of his last two outings, Inman tossed the second complete game of his Minor League career (7 innings, 6/15/19, at Hagerstown). The right-hander was extremely efficient last night, as he tossed 107 pitches (80 for strikes) and retired five of his last six outs via the strikeout. Inman's 12 strikeouts marked the first time that he has hit the double-digit mark since April 23 against Columbia.
Inman is the second starter in the SAL to throw a nine-inning complete game shutout this year (Colten Schmidt, July 17, Asheville).
CO-ACES: Inman's Thursday night gem marks just the second time that a Power pitcher has finished all nine innings of work in franchise history. Devin Sweet was the first to accomplish the feat, doing so against the Rome Braves on July 28.
The 12 strikeouts in Inman's performance also tied Sweet's mark for the most in a single game this season by a Power pitcher (second-most by a starter in team history), and they are the only hurlers to tally multiple double-digit K games.
BUSTING OUT OF A SLUMP: After going 4-for-42 in an 11-game stretch from July 15 to August 2, Pena has really broken out in the last four games. He has posted four straight games with an extra-base hit, as well as homered in three of his last four. Pena was the first Power slugger to go deep in three straight ballgames since Adrian Valerio accomplished the feat June 22-24, 2017, vs. Lexington. Pena's 15 homers on the season, the most on the team and fifth-most among current South Atlantic League sluggers.
The first baseman has eight hits in his last 17 at-bats with six RBI, as well as became the second Power player this season to hit three homers in a series (Jarred Kelenic, April 25-28 vs. Asheville). Pena is the first West Virginia hitter to collect at least 15 home runs in a single season since JaCoby Jones mashed 23 dingers in 2014. The Dominican Republic native also compiled the most hits he has had in a single series this season during the four-game home set with Rome (7).
SURGING SANDERS: With his 1-for-4 effort Thursday, Matt Sanders extended his hitting streak to 10 games. Sanders in the third Power hitter to record a double-digit hitting streak this season (Bobby Honeyman and Kelenic, 18 games).
During this streak that dates back to July 28, Sanders has a .302 (13-for-43) average with a homer and three RBI. Thanks to this recent surge, Sanders has raised his average with the Power from .255 to .281. In 21 games with West Virginia, the former Troy infielder has two homers and 10 RBI.
JULIOOOOOO: Julio pushed his hitting streak to seven games Thursday with his 2-for-4 effort. The outfielder is averaging .400 (12-for-30) with a homer and four RBI during this streak, the longest streak he has had this season. Julio also tallied his 23rd multi-hit game Thursday night, as well as his fifth of the streak. Julio's 23 multi-hit affairs are tied for third-most on the team (Joseph Rosa, 23; Ryan Ramiz, 25 and Honeyman, 29). Julio's 10 hits over the most recent homestand are the most he has had in any homestand this year.
QUALITY SWEETNESS: Sweet spun his fourth straight quality start last time out, tossing at least six innings for theseventh time in his 10 career MiLB starts. Across this remarkable run, the Greensboro, N.C., native boasts a 2.25 ERA(28 IP/7 ER) with 36 strikeouts compared to three walks. Since converting to a starter June 16, he is 4-2 with a 2.47ERA, the fourth-best qualified ERA in the SAL in that span, along with 71 strikeouts in 62 innings of work. He also has the lowest qualified ERA (3.04) on the Power.
POWER POINTS: McConnell has not committed an error in 61 consecutive games (May 15 at Charleston)... The Power pitching staff now has 11 shutouts on the season, which matches their total from 2018, a mark that was third-highest in the league. The team record is 13 (2011 and 2016)... West Virginia went 2-for-11 with RISP, stranding six.