Hernandez's Three-Hit Effort Not Enough in Walk-Off Loss
ROME, Ga. - West Virginia fell 4-3 in the series opener to the Rome Braves after Jefrey Ramos scored the game-winning run on a wild pitch in the 10th inning Friday night at State Mutual Stadium.
Samuel Reyes (1-3) headed back onto the mound for his second inning of work in the bottom of the 10th. With Ramos starting the inning at second base as the placed on runner, he struck out Alan Crowley for the first out of the inning. Reyes then intentionally walked Brendan Venter to put runners at first and second. With Trey Harris at the plate, Reyes made an errant throw on a pickoff attempt to second base that sailed into center field, moving both runners to second and third. Harris then popped out to first for the second out of the inning. Marcos Almonte strode to the plate and saw the second pitch to him fly to the backstop, allowing Ramos to score the winning run from third.
Raul Hernandez went 3-for-3 with a double and two singles, with his last hit proving to be a crucial eighth-inning tally. Oneil Cruz singled to start the inning. Calvin Mitchell then rolled over a ball to first, but Hagen Owenby struggled with the play and it moved Cruz to second while Mitchell was able to reach on the fielding error. With those two on, Hernandez stepped up to the dish and ripped a ball past the shortstop to drive in Cruz and give West Virginia (21-25, 58-54) its first and only lead of the game.
The Power earned that lead after posting a two-run seventh to knock Rome (22-24, 62-53) starter Jasseel De La Cruz out of the game. De La Cruz finished after 6.2 innings, his longest outing of the season. It all started with Hernandez, who drew a walk to open the frame. Robbie Glendinning moved him to third with a double before Ryan Peurifoy grounded to short to bring Hernandez home. Glendinning later scored from third on a wild pitch to tie the game at two as Jesse Medrano drew a two-out walk.
Oddy Nunez and De La Cruz each tossed five shutout innings to start their nights on the hill. The Braves broke the scoreless tie with a two-run homer in the sixth by Ramos to give Rome a 2-0 lead. Both Nunez and De La Cruz would earn a no-decision despite logging quality starts.
Nunez exited after six innings, giving up two runs on six hits. The southpaw wrung up four of the first five batters he faced and finished with those four strikeouts.
Ike Schlabach came on in relief of Nunez, spinning one scoreless inning to move West Virginia into the eighth with the score tied at two.
After that, the Power sent John Pomeroy to the hill to make his South Atlantic League debut. Ramos reached on an error from Cruz to start the inning before moving to second, still with no outs, on a passed ball that got by Deon Stafford. The former Oregon State Beaver strutted his stuff after that, striking out Crowley and Venter before inducing a 6-3 groundout from Harris to end the frame.
Reyes came on to close the game out in the ninth. After allowing a lead-off single to Owenby, he struck out Derian Cruz, but then ceded a single to Shean Michel. The closer earned the second out via a flyout to right from Justin Dean that sent runners to the corners with West Virginia holding tightly to a 3-2 lead. Next, AJ Graffanino dribbled a ball just to the left of the mound that Reyes could not get to in time, sending the game to extras as Almonte came in to score.
Hayden Deal (7-1) snagged the win after hurling 3.1 innings and surrendering just one run on two hits while fanning a pair.
West Virginia continues its four-game series against the Rome Braves Saturday night, with first pitch from State Mutual Stadium set for 6 p.m. RHP Hunter Stratton (4-5, 4.75 ERA) gets the nod for the Power, while the Braves are sending RHP Odalvi Javier (3-9, 4.19 ERA) to the bump. Pregame coverage begins at 5:40 p.m. on The Jock 1300 and 1340 AM, as well as online at www.wvpower.com and via the TuneIn Radio App and MiLB First Pitch App.
The Power returns home Wednesday, August 15, for the start of a seven-game homestand against the Columbia Fireflies and Charleston River Dogs. The homestand begins with Pets in the Park Night August 15 and ends with a Rock 105 Two for Tuesday August 21. The home stretch is highlighted with a Trevor Hoffman figurine giveaway as a part of the Power's Wheelers Weekend celebration August 18. The first 1,000 fans will receive the figurine, courtesy of Charleston Building and Construction Trades Council. For tickets and more information, call the Power at 304-344-2287 or visit wvpower.com.
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