With every batter he struck out Tuesday night, West Virginia Power starter Tyler Glasnow showed that pitching was starting to lose the label of the team's weak spot.
Glasnow fanned a career-high 10 in five innings as the Power beat the Greenville Drive 4-2 on Tuesday night at Appalachian Power Park. His previous career best was seven strikeouts, set in his first professional win in his previous start April 29 against Savannah. He became the first Power pitcher to record double-digit strikeouts in a game since 2010.
"I felt good warming up and carried it over to the game," Glasnow said. "I just had confidence in my defense, so I could just go out there and throw. It really felt instinctual then. I wasn't really thinking anything. I just went out there and threw."
Tuesday originally was scheduled to be a doubleheader starting at 5:05 p.m., but the rain from Tuesday afternoon had the Power changing its mind. The teams switched to a single game Tuesday night and will play its doubleheader today starting at 10:30 a.m.
Glasnow (2-0), whose pitches stayed consistently in the mid-90s, struck out at least two batters in four of the five innings he pitched. Only the third inning went strikeout-free. Two Drive batters whiffed in the first and second innings and three went down in the fourth and fifth.
"The way the ball comes out of his hands is just unbelievable," Power Manager Mike Ryan said. "He was locating his off-speed, and anytime he does that, he's going to be tough. He's going to be special, boy."
The right-hander allowed one hit and one earned run, walking four. That hit came in the fifth, when Drive catcher Jayson Hernandez doubled off the left-field wall to score Kevin Mager. West Virginia already had the lead by then, scoring two in the second and one in the third.
Drive starter Pat Light walked Walker Gourley to bring in Wyatt Mathisen for the first run. Then D.J. Crumlich scored on an Ashley Ponce fielder's choice. Raul Fortunato singled off Light in the third to bring Josh Bell home. After the Drive added a run in the eighth on a Mager fielder's choice, the Power added an insurance run with a Max Moroff RBI single.
The Power's pitching has improved throughout the staff. The bullpen has allowed just five earned runs over its last 22 innings. At one point, West Virginia was last in the South Atlantic League's in team ERA. The Power had climbed to 11th in ERA in the league entering Tuesday's game.
Pitching coach Jeff Johnson said young pitchers getting used to new environments would take time, and the longer he's been able to watch them, the better idea he had of the staff's strengths and weaknesses.
"When I came in, I knew it was going to take me a month of seeing them in different situations, seeing them on the road, in the day games, in the night games, in the day games after the night games," he said. "All those things matter, so I knew it was going to take me a while to see them.
"Usually it takes about a month for them to get used to being here and for me to get used to what they do. Then I can start molding them and pushing them in certain directions, depending on where their strengths are."
Contact sportswriter Derek Redd at derek.r...@dailymail.com or 304-348-1712. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/marshall. Follow him on Twitter @derekredd.