JOHNSTOWN, Pa. – The Johnstown Mill Rats claimed a 5-3 victory over the West Virginia Miners on Friday night to finish off a two-game series sweep in Prospect League action.
The Miners and Mill Rats were again even in hits for the second consecutive night, both tallying 12, but Johnstown’s two relief pitchers – Sean Casteel and Sean Furlong – produced key strikeouts to end multiple West Virginia threats and strand several Miners in scoring position.
In the top of the seventh with the Mill Rats leading 4-1, Johnstown starter Matthew Benton was removed after issuing a one-out walk. Casteel allowed a walk and a single to load the bases, but fanned the next two hitters to keep the three-run advantage.
Furlong, in both the eighth and ninth innings, stranded two runners on base, which included the tying run at first base in the ninth. He struck out two batters to end the eighth and induced a flyout to end the game.
Benton earned the win after throwing 6 ⅓ innings, allowing one run on six hits while walking three and striking out four. Furlong was awarded the save.
The Mill Rats jumped ahead 4-0 through five innings on two run-scoring singles by Chase Cromer and RBIs from Andrew Kribbs and Lukas Torres. DJ Alexander hit an RBI double in the bottom of the eighth to keep the game out of reach.
Asher Corl went 3-for-4 to top the Mill Rats offensively. Kribbs, Torres and Cromer each tallied two hits, with Kribbs scoring twice.
Now on a three-game win streak, Johnstown (7-9) hosts the Danville Dans on Saturday night at 7 p.m.