CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The Pittsburgh Pirates minor league system is often mentioned among the best in all of baseball largely in part due to the abundance of pitching prospects under the club's thumb.
Two of the names often mentioned as pitchers to keep an eye on - Tyler Glasnow and Luis Heredia - each got starts and showed why there are lofty expectations for their futures in leading West Virginia to a doubleheader sweep of visiting Kannapolis (N.C.) on Tuesday.
Glasnow (7-2) tossed six shutout innings while striking out seven and allowing just one hit in the Power's 1-0 win in the first game. Heredia (2-2) followed that by allowing three hits and one run while striking out two in five innings to help lift West Virginia into sole possession of first place in the South Atlantic League Northern Division.
"I thought it was an excellent outing," Power Manager Michael Ryan said of Heredia's performance. "I thought that he bounced back really well because his last start wasn't that good down in Asheville.
"He left some pitches out over the plate and we told him after that start that it was something he was going to learn from. You just can't leave balls out over the plate you still have to locate and I thought he did that well tonight. His family is in town and it's hard to pitch in front of your family. He handled it very well."
Both starters were helped specifically by the play of outfielder Jonathan Schwind. In the first game, Schwind beat a throw at first on an attempted double play in the fifth inning that allowed designated hitter Walker Gourley to score the game's only run.
In the second game Schwind, batting ninth, smacked a ball deep over the left field wall for a grand slam in the second inning to give the Power (55-44, 18-11 second half) an early 5-0 lead.
Schwind typically is not the starting left fielder for West Virginia, but Ryan said he had a hunch and decided to play him in both games. That hunch paid off.
"Great teams, the superstar players are consistent but nights that they have off there has got to be a different guy to pick up the slack and we've been doing that," he said.
"I try to watch these guys work during the day to see who looks good and who is getting the feel for their swing and I've seen Schwind do that.
"I like the way he's been taking (batting practice) and the way he's been doing his defensive work."