By Gary Fauber
Assistant Sports Editor
It’s time for the most important weekend of the season for the West Virginia Miners.
The defending Prospect League champions will host a two-game series with the Butler BlueSox, starting with tonight’s 7:05 p.m. game. The Miners lead Butler by four games in the Prospect League East Division with eight games left to play.
If the Miners sweep the series, they will clinch a tie for the division championship, and their magic number to clinch the outright title would be one. The top two teams in the division at season’s end will meet in a best-of-three playoff starting Tuesday, Aug. 6.
Going into Friday night’s games, the BlueSox led the Prospect League with a .269 team batting average. All-star infielder Matt Peters is hitting .356 with seven triples, 10 doubles and 22 runs batted in. Tyler Detmer, also an infielder, has 10 doubles and 18 RBIs.
That offense will be facing the league’s No. 2 pitching staff. The Miners have a team earned run average of 2.78, second only to Quincy’s 2.75.
West Virginia still leads the league with nine shutouts, five complete games, 393 strikeouts and a 1.21 WHIP.
Leading Butler on the mound has been Jon Anderson, a Slippery Rock product, with a 5-2 record and 2.04 ERA. Also, Reid Noah is 4-1 with a 3.05 ERA.
Tyler Ferguson is 3-1 with three saves and a 1.73 ERA out of the bullpen.
Miners outfielder Kaeo Aliviado still leads the league in hitting with a .370 average. He has 10 doubles and leads the team with 11 stolen bases.
Zach Woolcock has struggled since his return from a groin injury Sunday, with just two hits in 12 at-bats. He did, however, score three runs in Thursday’s win at Lorain County.
Infielder Pat Kregeloh leads the league with 36 RBIs.
Evin Einhardt (3-1, 0.98) and possibly Brandon Koch (6-2, 3.31) could start this weekend for the Miners.
The Miners have won six of the teams’ 10 meetings this season.
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Tonight will be Family Coin Laundry Night. Fans can register to win a flat screen TV.
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