The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

College Sports

June 17, 2014

Flirting with a no-no

Miners pick up third straight win behind Boster’s strong night

The late Baltimore Orioles’ manager Earl Weaver once said, “The key to winning baseball games is pitching, fundamentals and three-run homers.”

Somewhere last night, Weaver was smiling as the West Virginia Miners rolled past Lorain County 4-0 at Linda K. Epling Stadium. The Miners did not hit a three-run homer, but David Martinelli blasted a two-run bomb and Miners’ starter Chase Boster baffled the Ironmen holding them hitless for 7 1-3 innings.

Boster set the Ironmen down in order in six of the first seven innings and recorded 14 straight outs before giving up his lone single in the eighth inning. He finished the night with 10 strikeouts and only one walk.

“He has been lights all year,” explained Miners manager Tim Epling. “Chase will always be around the plate, he is very smart and really understands who he is as a pitcher.”

 Boster entered the game with a 0.95 ERA for the season.

The steady work Boster provided from the hill was key as the Miners bats started slowly. They collected a single in each of the first five innings but were unable to convert them into runs.

The Miners changed that in bottom half of the sixth inning when Grant Massey drew a walk that was followed by a perfect sacrifice bunt by Ryan Perkins.

Martinelli followed with a drive to left-center field that just kept carrying until it cleared the wall for a two-run home run and all the runs the Miners’ staff would need.

Martinelli’s blast was the first home run of the season for the Miners, who collected 10 hits on the night.

“That was a nice surprise. We knew David has a lot of pop in his bat, and it was just a matter of time,” stated Epling.

The Miners were not done with Martinelli’s blast in the sixth inning. Zach Woolcock reached on an error by the shortstop and moved to second on a wild pitch. Paul Trenhaile refused to leave him there as he smacked a double to score Woolcock.

Woolcock added an RBI single of his own in the eighth to round out the scoring for the Miners, and Dalton Curtis pitched 1 2-3 innings of scoreless relief to collect his second save of the year.

The win was the third straight for the Miners and the fifth loss in a row for the Ironmen.

“Tonight was a great atmosphere. When you have a good crowd like tonight and people are behind you, players play harder and it is a momentum builder for us,” said Epling.

The Miners look to keep building on their recent success as they head out on the road for four tough games.

“We play Champion City for two and (Chillicothe) for two, and we have not played on natural turf yet this season. I am hoping our guys respond,” Epling explained.

Tonight’s game at Champion City is a 7:05 start from Carleton Davidson Stadium in Springfield, Ohio.

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