The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

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June 15, 2013

Bloop hits hurt Miners in first game of twin-bill with Paints

BECKLEY — Chicks may dig the long ball, but on some nights just a few well-placed bloop hits can spell more damage than home runs.

Such was the case for the West Virginia Miners Friday night as the Chillicothe Paints rolled past a listless Miner squad 8-2 Friday at Linda K. Epling Stadium.

It was the first game of a doubleheader resulting from the severe storms that plagued West Virginia Thursday that canceled the scheduled game with the Paints. The beautiful sunny weather Friday evening was in stark contrast to the weather on Thursday, and so was the effort of the two teams on the field.

The West Virginia Miners started fast with two excellent plays by center fielder Preston Troutman.

With two outs in the top of the first, Chillicothe’s Daniel Zuchowski laced a shot into the gap between center field and right. Troutman raced over to cut the ball off and held Zuchowski to a single. Zuchowski advanced to second on Giancarlo Brugoni’s single, only to see Troutman cap off the inning by gunning Zuchowski down at the plate as he tried to score on a single by Zach Mathie.

The charged-up Miners kept the momentum rolling when Kaeo Alviado led off their half of the inning with a double down the right field line. That was followed by a deep shot to the left field corner by Dale Davis for another double.

Davis moved to third on a fielder’s choice with just one out. Paints pitcher Adam Schaley then hit third baseman Zach Woolcock with a pitch, setting up the Miners on first and third and just one out. Schaley settled down, however, getting the next two batters to end the Miners threat.

The second inning turned the game and the momentum back to Chillicothe.

With one out, Stuart Eisler’s single to left was followed by a slow ground ball to first baseman Griffin Moore, who whirled and threw to second base to try to get the lead runner. While the runner appeared to be out, the field umpire ruled Miners’ shortstop Evan Potter was pulled off the bag and the runner was safe.

The next batter, Vinnie Booker, lifted what looked to be a weak fly ball to right fielder Dale Davis, but Davis lost the ball in the sun. Eisler scored, giving the Paints runners at second and third on the double by Booker.

Jossue Delgado kept the rally going by hitting a bloop fly just over the second baseman’s head and just in front of a diving Davis to score two more runs. Justin Wagler drilled a single, moving Delgado to third, then Zuchowski smacked a double to drive home two more runs before the Miners could get the final two outs of the inning.

The Miners had no response to the big inning and could muster just one more run the rest of the way.

The effort clearly frustrated West Virginia manager Tim Epling who said, “We came out and scored early, I had a good feeling about it. Then the sun got in the right fielder’s eyes. We made a couple of errors and we fell apart.

“Our guys got hit in the mouth and they didn’t fight back. I felt we played with no energy and I thought we would”.

To try and reverse the trend of game one, Epling sent Jaesung Wang to the hill in hopes of keeping his scoreless inning streak alive for the Miners. “J (Wang) is focused, I know what I am going to get out of him, he is the most mentally prepared guy on the team,” said Manager Tim Epling.

Wang did not disappoint his manager, firing a comlete game five-hit shutout to lead the Miners to a 1-0 win over the Paints in game two.

The Miners hit the road for a brief two-game road trip against Richmond starting today at 7:05 p.m.

— E-mail: rudy@register-herald.com

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