The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

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June 3, 2014

Miners offense busts out

W. Va. gets 14 hits, 15 walks in 17-0 win over Richmond

BECKLEY — The only question was which the West Virginia Miners would have more of: runs or walks.

A combination of 14 West Virginia hits and 15 walks by Richmond pitchers led to a 17-0 win for the Miners Tuesday at Linda K. Epling Stadium.

In leveling their record at 3-3 with their third straight win, the Miners set a season-high for hits and runs. All but one starter got a hit, including three-hit days for Alex McKeon and Mike Brosseau.

“It took a while to get used to it, but I think now we’re all starting to get into the swing of things,” said Paul Trenhaile, who was 2 for 5 and has hit safely in all six games. “We’re starting to see the ball better, and I think that goes for me as well. Hopefully that continues through the rest of the season.”

“You’re not going to score 17 runs every game,” said Miners manager Tim Epling, “but I do know we have been so dry the first two or three games. It was just a matter of time for us to get out of our shell. Today was just one of those days.”

West Virginia was helped by a RiverRats staff that could not locate the strike zone. Starter Austin Conway lasted only two-plus innings, lifted after he walked the first three batters of the third to finish with seven overall.

It didn’t get better from there.

Reliever John Pavlopoulos finished the third and stayed in until he could not retire a batter in the fifth. He wound up walking five on his own.

Chad Phenis took over for Pavlopoulos and faced three batters — he walked two and hit the other. Kyle Agius, Richmond’s fourth pitcher, replaced Pavlopoulos and went the rest of the way.

“We went into this game with the approach that we weren’t going to swing at bad pitches,” Trenhaile said. “That really worked out for us tonight. It was exactly what we wanted to do.”

Lost in the offensive outburst was the pitching of Ryan Lavoie. Making his first start of the season, Lavoie only allowed one hit, a double by Jake Hand with two out in the second inning.

The right-hander from Eastern Michigan had only one strikeout and walked three over seven innings.

Lavoie (1-0) had plenty of time between innings, which Epling said helped him through the night.

“And if you take a look at his velo (velocity) there at the end, it was just like in the first inning,” Epling said. “And it was because of the rest he had between innings.”

The West Virginia defense committed only one error behind Lavoie.

McKeon drove in four runs and Grant Massey scored four times for West Virginia.

The Miners are off today before starting a two-game series at Butler Thursday. The game will start at 7:05 p.m. and can be heard on 93.5 FM/1070 AM The Ark with Garry Griffith on the call.

— E-mail: gfauber@register-herald.com and follow on Twitter @GaryFauber.

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