Nevarez Launches Homer as Power Fall, 5-3
CHARLESTON, S.C. - Dean Nevarez crushed his seventh homer of the season but West Virginia fell 5-3 in the series opener with Charleston, Tuesday night at Joseph P. Riley Jr. Park.
The RiverDogs (29-28, 66-61) jumped in front early with a leadoff walk and a two-run homer from Canaan Smith, his tenth of the year, that put Charleston ahead 2-0. Evan Johnson (0-5) continued to struggle in the first inning as he issued a walk to the next batter, Josh Breaux, who scored moments later on a Josh Stowers RBI double that went into the corner in left. Stowers then crossed the plate on a two-out RBI single off the bat of Oliver Dunn that extended the RiverDogs lead to 4-0 at the end of one.
West Virginia (26-31, 63-64) bounced back in the second as Matt Sanders doubled on the first pitch of the frame, down the right field line and set the tone for Nevarez. The Power backstop cleared the wall in left as he hooked a ball around the left field foul pole for his seventh homer of the year and cut the Charleston lead in half at 4-2.
Benjamin Onyshko, who closed out the first inning for Johnson, settled in to his relief appearance and did not allow another run to score until the fifth when a Oswald Peraza single and a pair of wild pitches grew the RiverDogs lead to 5-2. Roansy Contreras (10-5) also threw efficiently during the middle innings as the righty only surrendered one hit after the Nevarez bomb to close out his outing.
Sal Biasi entered in the sixth for Onyshko, struck out the side in order, retired the first six batters he faced and struck out the side again in the eighth that kept West Virginia within three. Sanders and Nick Rodriguez each led off the ninth inning with a single off Tim Hardy (S,1), who was called upon in the seventh, and started a rally for West Virginia.
Nevarez then came to the plate and scorched a ball to the wall in right that was tracked down by former Mariners farm-hand Josh Stowers for the first out. Charlie McConnell then delivered with a sacrifice fly that scored Sanders from third and cut the lead to two runs, but Hardy set down Onil Pena on strikes and closed out the 5-3 RiverDogs win.
West Virginia continues the three-game series in Charleston, S.C., Wednesday evening against the RiverDogs at Joseph P. Riley Jr. Park, with first pitch set for 7:05 p.m. RHP Juan Then (first Low-A debut) gets the ball for West Virginia, while Charleston will send LHP Josh Maciejewski (1-1, 2.25 ERA). Pregame coverage begins at 6:45 p.m. on The Jock 1300 and 1340 AM, as well as online at wvpower.com and via the TuneIn Radio App and MiLB First Pitch App.
The Power returns to Appalachian Power Park on Friday, August 23, as West Virginia welcomes in the Lakewood BlueClaws for a three-game set. The weekend kicks off with WOWK Night at the ballpark where WOWK news anchors will sign autographs pregame and throw out a first pitch. Following the final out, fans will get a sneak peek at the upcoming CBS lineup coming this fall on the videoboard. Additionally, the Kanahwa Valley's pyrotechincal show returns for another Fireworks Friday, presented by Pioneer WV Federal Credit Union, Suddenlink and WOWK. On Saturday, the first 1,000 fans through the gates, which open at 4:30 p.m., will receive a Cole Tucker bobblehead giveaway, courtesy of the Charleston Building and Construction Trades Council. For tickets and more information, call the Power at 304-344-2287 or visit www.wvpower.com.
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