The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

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July 16, 2014

Miners get ‘sloppy’ 7-5 victory

West Virginia remains atop second-half Prospect League standings

BECKLEY — Tim Epling will take a win any way it comes in the heat of a pennant race. That doesn’t mean he has to like it.

The West Virginia Miners maintained their second half lead by defeating the Butler BlueSox 7-5 Tuesday. The Miners got the two-game sweep Epling wanted, even if he didn’t find it aesthetically pleasing.

“It was sloppy for us tonight,” the Miners manager said. “Mentally, I thought that we were not in the game. ... We can’t afford to get thrown out on the bases like that. We have got to start executing sacrifice bunts ... and we need to move guys into scoring position.

“If we execute those little things and stay away from that stupidity, (bad) baserunning we did tonight, we’ll be OK. But you can’t do that. And our guys are smarter than that.”

Epling was referring to the team’s continued inability to bunt effectively, and Taylor Kellner getting picked off at second by Butler catcher Jeff Revesz.

The pitching, meanwhile was sufficient, not efficient. The BlueSox had a baserunner every inning but left 11 on.

“We were fighting for everything we had,” Epling said.

Starter Ryan Lavoie allowed eight hits and two earned runs over 4 2/3 innings. He left with the Miners ahead 4-2 but did not qualify for the win.

That went to Cody Pope (4-2), who struck out and allowed two hits and an earned run over 1 1/3.

Kolin Stanley worked the final two innings for his co-league-leading eighth save. He gave up his first run of the summer in the eighth, but it was unearned thanks to the Miners’ only error of the game.

Kellner’s baserunning gaffe was the only bad moment on an otherwise good night. He went 3-for-3 and drove in a run, and made a nice catch while twisting around near the warning track in right in the fifth.

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