Sanders Homers But Power Fall in Series Opener, 6-3
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Matt Sanders blasted his fourth homer of the season with the Power, but West Virginia fell late to the Hagerstown Suns, 6-3, Thursday night at Appalachian Power Park.
Evan Johnson got off to a rocky start, as the Suns struck for two runs in the first inning on a Jacob Rhinesmith fielder's choice that brought in a run and a Nic Perkins RBI double that put Hagerstown (25-28, 55-68) ahead 2-0. Meanwhile, Jackson Rutledge retired the first six Power (25-28. 62-61) hitters he faced to start the ballgame, tallying four strikeouts in the process.
West Virginia finally broke through in the fourth inning after a leadoff walk issued to Mike Salvatore and a double from Bobby Honeyman put runners at second and third with no one out. Sanders delivered a run with a sacrifice fly and a wild pitch from Rutledge scored Honeyman to tie the game at two.
Johnson only lasted through four innings due to an elevated early pitch count, but did not surrender another run throughout his outing. Benjamin Onyshko entered in the fifth and provided a shutdown frame, but conceded a run in the sixth on two hits and a Jackson Cluff RBI groundout that handed the Suns a 3-2 lead.
The Hagerstown advantage did not last long, as Sanders uncorked a first-pitch fastball off Joan Adon (11-3) over the left-field wall with one out in the sixth, knotting the game up at three.
Onyshko twirled a scoreless seventh inning before Sal Biasi (7-4) entered in the eighth. He proceeded to give up three runs on two hits in a wild inning where a rundown on the bases led to a run off a Justin Connell single. Adon continued his outing and held the Power order to just three hits over the final three frames to close out the 6-3 win over West Virginia.
The Power continues their four-game homestand with the Hagerstown Suns Friday evening at Appalachian Power Park, with first pitch set for 7:05 p.m. RHP Josias De Los Santos (4-6, 4.67 ERA) gets the ball for West Virginia, while Hagerstown sends lefty Jackson Stoeckinger (1-2, 3.60 ERA) to the bump. 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.
Tomorrow is another Fireworks Friday at Appalachian Power Park, as the Kanawha Valley's best pyrotechnical show follows Friday's matchup with the Suns, presented by Poca Valley Bank and Suddenlink. The highlight of the homestand comes on Saturday, August 17, as the first 1,000 fans through the gates will receive a Jarred Kelenic prospect t-shirt giveaway, courtesy of Marshall Orthopaedics. West Virginia will also host a special postgame fireworks show following the final out Saturday, presented by Constellium. For tickets and more information, call the Power at 304-344-2287 or visit www.wvpower.com.
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