Curve Have A Hit-Happy Morning; Cumpton Strikes Out 8
West Virginia Power 3, Delmarva Shorebirds 0
Three Power pitchers combined for this shutout, holding the Shorebirds to just 3 hits. Brandon Cumpton made the start, with 8 strikeouts in his 6.2 scoreless innings. Cumpton was responsible for 5 of the 6 Delmarva base runners — two singles, a double, a walk, and a hit batter. The double came in the 1st inning, and that runner was left on base. The two singles came in the 3rd inning, and after a ground out, Cumpton was working with two runners in scoring position. No problem, he just got a strikeout to end the inning. He worked around a lead-off walk in the 4th, thenthen retired the next 11 batters in a row. With two outs in the 7th, Cumpton hit the next batter. Brooks Pounders came on in relief of Cumpton and finished up the 7th inning with a line out. Pounders stayed in the game to pitch the 8th. He also hit a batter, and struck out one. Jason Townsend took care of the bottom of the 9th, with three quick outs.
The Power supplied 3 runs of support for the pitching staff, on 7 hits, and taking advantage of 8 walks and three errors by the Shorebirds. All but one batter in the Power line-up reached base at least once, and there was at least one Power base runner on in every inning. They began the scoring with an unearned run in the 2nd inning, starting a rally with two outs. C Elias Diaz singled through the hole into left field, andmoved to second base on a wild pitch. A throw from the Delmarva catcher, trying to nab Diaz, sailed into center field for a throwing error, and Diaz kept running. The Delmarva center field also made a throwing error returning the ball to the infield, and that let Diaz cross the plate to give the Power a 1-0 lead.
Diaz’s hit was the only hit for the Power in the first 4 innings. 1B Matt Curry walked in the 1st but was left on base. SS Drew Maggi walked to lead off the 3rd, but he was erased in a double play. DH Kawika Emsley-Pai walked in the 4th, but was picked off and caught stealing. 2B Kevin Mort walked and 3B Eric Avila singled in the 5th, then RF Justin Howard singled and Emsley-Pai walked in the 6th, but all four of those batters were left on base too. Mort walked again in the 7th, with the same result.
In the 8th, the Power rallied again. With one out, Curry singled up the middle, and Emsley-Pai doubled into right field, moving Curry to third base. LF Rogelios Noris walked to load the bases. Diaz’s liner into center field brought in both Curry and Emsley-Pai. Noris also tried to score after the Delmarva center fielder made a fielding error, but Noris was thrown out at the plate to end the inning. Avila singled again in the 9th inning, and he also stole second base.
Lakeland Flying Tigers 4, Bradenton Marauders 3
2B Jarek Cunningham led the Bradenton offense with 3 hits, including a solo homer, but the Flying Tigers scored 3 unanswered runs in their last two at-bats to take the win.
Doubles by RF Robbie Grossman and Cunningham gave the Marauders their first run in the top of the 1st inning. Lakeland came right back with a run in the bottom of the frame, on a single, a walk, a double steal, and an RBI ground out. Cunningham’s homer gave the Marauders a 2-1 lead in the top of the 3rd. 3B Elevys Gonzalez led off the 4th with a walk, and scored on DH Calvin Anderson’s double into right field, raising the score to 3-1 in the 4th.
Kyle McPherson gave up that run in the 1st, and pitched 4 more scoreless innings in his start. He loaded the bases with three singles in the 2nd inning, but got a little tapper back to the mound to end that inning. He also gave up a ground-rule double in the 3rd, and a pair of singles in the 5th. McPherson walked 2 batters and struck out 4.
Brian Leach retired the side in order, with 2 strikeouts, in the 6th, but got into some trouble in the 7th. With one out, he hit a batter, then gave up a triple to the next batter, cutting his lead to 3-2. A walk put runners on the corners, then Leach was relieved by the rehabbing Donnie Veal. Veal hit the first batter he faced with a pitch to load the bases, but ended the inning with a fly out. Veal came back out for the bottom of the 8th. He got the first two outs, then hit a batter and walked a batter. Then a double into right field brought both of those runners in to score, and Lakeland took a 4-3 lead. Veal was charged with both the Blown Save and the loss.
The Power put two runners on base in the 5th, on singles by Cunningham and C Ramon Cabrera, but Cunningham was thrown out trying to reach third base, and Cabrera was left on base. The Power went down in order in the next three innings. In the top of the 9th, with Lakeland having just taken the lead, CF Evan Chambers smacked a long fly ball into right field. He raced around second base, but was out at third on the throw in from right field. A strikeout ended the inning, and gave the Tigers the win.