CHARLESTON, W.Va. - West Virginia Power outfielder Josh Bell said it's always fun to play baseball for a living, but when you're surging like he and his teammates have been since April 29, your days can't get much better.
"It's awesome," Bell said. "It's a grind and the bus rides are a definite grind, but when you're going out to war with a group guys that are all playing well and all have each other's backs, that makes it a lot easier."
In sweeping Wednesday's doubleheader with the Greenville Drive, 7-3 and 7-6, the Power also swept the four-game series and climbed to .500 for the season (16-16). West Virginia has won five consecutive games and seven of its last eight.
"We want to pitch it, we want to pick it up and we want to run the bases aggressively," Power Manager Mike Ryan said. "It's a recipe for success and it's been showing. We're starting to play better in close games where we're not putting pressure on our defense because we've been playing some really good defense.
"The nervousness is going away. We're really aggressive on the bases and we're getting outstanding pitching, which is the story of what we're going to be."
In the first game, the Power waded through soggy conditions to post the win. West Virginia jumped to a 4-1 lead in the bottom of the third. Drive starter Cody Kukuk walked in the first run, then gave up a two-run single to right to Power catcher Francisco Diaz. D.J. Crumlich then came home on a Raul Fortunato fielder's choice.
Greenville cut the lead to 4-3 in the fifth when Power starter Clay Holmes walked Mookie Betts and Cody Coback, then gave way on the mound to Thomas Harlan. Harlan gave up a single, then walked home both Betts and Coback. West Virginia responded with a Diaz RBI single in the fifth and a towering two-run home run from Bell in the sixth, his fifth of the year.
Ryan said Holmes, Harland and Kyle Haynes all pitched well despite adverse weather. The skies opened up about halfway through the seven-inning first game and threatened to end that contest after five innings. But the rain subsided long enough to get through.