Lexington Legends

Lexington splits twin bill as bats fail to pitch in

The Hitless Wonders were at it again Monday.

The Lexington Legends split a pair of seven-inning games at Applebee's Park, shutting out West Virginia 3-0, then falling 6-3.

The Legends finished 4-5 on their first homestand of the season, with some outstanding efforts on the mound.

West Virginia and Kannapolis each notched a six-run game. Over the other seven games, they totaled seven runs.

Lexington's offense, though, was largely absent.

After being shut out three games in a row by Kannapolis, the Legends had three consecutive shutout victories over West Virginia.

"I haven't seen a whole lot of hitting yet," Legends Manager Tom Lawless said between games Monday. "I think the weather has a lot to do with that. Pitchers are always ahead of hitters early in the year. We continue to do our work offensively and scratch and claw, and if we pull out victories 3-0, 3-2, 2-1 right now, we'll take them."

Lexington pitchers blanked West Virginia for 262⁄3 innings, a streak broken in Monday's second game when Chase D'Arnaud drove a two-run, third-inning homer.

Lawless said he likes what he's seen from his team.

"There's nice energy. We're understanding how to play games, and we're understanding how to win ball games," Lawless said. "That's our philosophy. That's how we're going to approach every game. And we're going to go out there and play as hard as we can for seven innings ... or nine innings."

Over nine games, the Legends had 15 runs on 40 hits.

Monday, right-handers Kyle Greenwalt and Daniel Meszaros combined on a three-hit victory.

Greenwalt (1-1) gave up all three hits and a walk, striking out four over six innings.

Meszaros added a perfect inning, striking out two, for his fourth save.

"It boils down to the pitching," Lawless said. "If you go out there and attack the strike zone ... and we make most of the plays, we're in the ball game."

The Legends had only four hits, two coming in a two-run third inning.

Albert Cartwright lined a one-out single off of pitcher Duke Welker (0-2). Cartwright wound up scoring, moving around on an errant pickoff throw, Ricardo Bonfante's single and a wild pitch.

Bonfante took two bases on the wild pitch, then scored on Jay Austin's groundout.

Cartwright scored again in the fifth, rapping a two-out double and gaining an extra base when left fielder Quincy Latimore bobbled the ball. After Bonfante walked, Cartwright scored on a delayed double steal.

While both Power errors resulted in runs, the Legends practiced damage control to cover up two miscues.

Most notably, a West Virginia walk, fielding error and infield single loaded the bases with two outs in the first.

But third baseman Ebert Rosario, who had the error, charged hard, made a barehand pickup of Edward Garcia's dribbler and fired. His throw was a bit wide, but first baseman Phil Disher saved the play with a big stretch.

"Very nice play to end the inning," Lawless said. "After making the error earlier in the inning, (Rosario) bounced back and made a nice play to get 'Greenie' out of the inning."

In the nightcap, D'Arnaud's homer off of Arcenio Leon followed a two-out walk by Austin McClune.

The Power added a run in the fourth, but the Legends tied in the bottom of the inning.

A two-out bunt single by Russell Dixon and a walk to Kody Hinze brought Federico Hernandez to the plate. He jumped on the first pitch for a three-run bomb that cleared the left-field bleachers.

West Virginia squelched Legends thoughts of a sweep, though, with three runs in the fifth. The last two came on a 10-foot double by Greg Picart. Hernandez, the catcher, appeared to lose Picart's pop up in the lights, and the ball dropped amid pitcher, catcher and both corner infielders.

The Legends return home Saturday to meet the Bowling Green Hot Rods.