The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Latest Sports

July 28, 2012

Award-worthy seasons

Miners’ Lewis, Prestridge should be considered for Player of the Year

When Sam Lewis opened the Miners’ season with a no-hitter against Slippery Rock, it helped to foreshadow how dominant the team’s pitching would be.

Now, serious consideration has to be given to just how special the season has been for Lewis, individually.

The West Virginia right-hander turned the trick again Thursday, tossing his second no-no in less than two months in a 9-1 win at Lorain County. The junior at Indiana Wesleyan threw 119 pitches, 74 for strikes, in his Prospect League-leading third complete game of the summer.

Lewis struck out seven and walked four, and the Ironmen’s run was unearned thanks to West Virginia’s lone error. He retired 14 straight batters at one point.

Beyond his 5-0, 7-inning gem against Slippery Rock — the first no-hitter in the team’s history — Lewis had gone largely unnoticed. But that is of no fault of his own.

That kind of anonymity was a by-product of being part of the league’s top pitching staff. Going into Friday, the Miners were still tops with a 3.59 earned run average.

But Lewis (6-1) quietly has been just as big a part of that as anyone else on the staff. He is at or near the top in several pitching categories:

— Wins, tied for first;

— Complete games, first;

— Batting average against (.159), first;

— Strikeouts (59), second;

Lewis also has a WHIP (walks-plus-hits divided by innings pitched) of a puny 0.97 and has surrendered just one home run to 242 batters faced. He has allowed just 33 hits in 58 2-3 innings.

His ERA is 3.07 — inflated by his only bad outing of the year against Richmond, but still good for ninth in the league.

While pitching has carried the Miners through the season to date, teams still have to score runs. West Virginia has done that, but one player has clearly emerged as the Miners’ most clutch player.

Catcher Clay Prestridge has been the staff’s best friend — from his defense behind the plate to his prime offense to the left side of it.

Going into Friday, Prestridge was leading the league with a gaudy .407 batting average.

Others may hit more home runs than Prestridge, and his RBI total of 33 is well behind leader Matt Tellor of Springfield only because he has played in 14 fewer games.

Consider these numbers:

— 33 RBIs, 30 runs scored in 31 games;

— 11 for 11 in stolen base attempts;

— 17 of 46 hits for extra bases.

That doesn’t even reflect his defensive numbers. Yes, his error led to the only run scored against Lewis on Thursday, but he has killed rallies or negated walks and hit batsmen by picking runners off the corners.

All that after missing the team’s first 16 games as a late arrival and sitting out another because of illness. He had three hits in his first 17 at-bats but has had only one hitless game in the last month.

Prestridge recently had a 14-game hitting streak and is currently riding a wave of eight straight.

Prestridge has enough at-bats to qualify for the league batting title. He should also be considered seriously for player of the year.

Same for Lewis on the mound.

———

The Miners (10-8 second half, 31-17 overall) begin a two-game homestand tonight against the Butler BlueSox. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m.

The second game of the series will start at 5:05 p.m. Sunday.

———

CORRECTION: The East Division championship game will be played Aug. 7, not Aug. 8. The Miners will host the winner of the East’s second half at 7:05 p.m.

— E-mail: gfauber@register-herald.com

1
Text Only
Latest Sports
  • Still in playoff hunt, Miners host Paints tonight

    The West Virginia Miners are running out of time, but the race for a playoff berth still isn’t over.

     

    August 2, 2014

  • mccown McCown thankful for his chance, no matter the role

    Luke McCown would still love to be a full-time starter in the NFL, something he hasn’t really experienced in a nine-year NFL career. 

    August 2, 2014 1 Photo

  • ingram Saints pumped for first real scrimmage

    With a scrimmage set for this morning, Friday’s New Orleans Saints football practice at the new Greenbrier training camp site focused heavily on red zone and special teams work, trying to get all the players on the same page for the first true scrimmage of camp. 

    August 2, 2014 1 Photo

  • Richmond rallies to defeat Miners 7-3

    West Virginia’s hopes of a three-peat  title in the Prospect League are in serious jeopardy after a 7-3 loss to the Richmond RiverRats  Friday night.

    August 2, 2014

  • trickett WVU’s Trickett focused on staying healthy

    With his Twitter account no longer active — West Virginia University head coach Dana Holgorsen forced him to disable the heavily followed account after some controversial Tweets during the offseason — Mountaineer starting quarterback Clint Trickett is free to focus on one thing: doing whatever it takes to stay healthy for the 2014 season.

     

    August 2, 2014 1 Photo

  • Clark makes voice heard in return to Redskins

    Ryan Clark has been a showman, entertainer, spokesman, pontificator, critic, leader, mentor and fashionista — and that's just from one week of Washington Redskins training camp.

    August 1, 2014

  • Steelers WR Antonio Brown aims for repeat of 2013
    Antonio Brown rolled up to the dorms at Saint Vincent College last week in a Mercedes conversion van. It's fitting in a way. Five years into a blossoming career, the Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver is playing the role of dad — OK, maybe slightly older brother — to a group long on talent but short on experience.

    August 1, 2014

  • Steelers sign K Suisham through 2018 season
    The Pittsburgh Steelers have given kicker Shaun Suisham a four-year contract extension that runs through the 2018 season.

    August 1, 2014

  • RH 080114saints1.jpg Intensity reaches new level at Saints training camp

    Following their first day off from training camp on Wednesday, the New Orleans Saints reported to their new $30 million practice facility at The Greenbrier Thursday full of energy and with an edge that hadn’t been seen through the first five practices.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Holliday.jpg Backup quarterback battle one to watch at Marshall

    Marshall has a pretty decent quarterback in Rakeem Cato, a Heisman Trophy candidate who is expected to lead the Thundering Herd to its most successful season in more than a decade.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

Saints Training Camp