Sweet's Quality Start Not Enough in 8-3 Loss
SALISBURY, Md. - Devin Sweet hurled his fifth quality start in his last six outings, but the Power squandered an early lead in an 8-3 loss to the Delmarva Shorebirds Wednesday night at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium.
The matchup appeared to be a pitchers' duel early on, as both Sweet (7-5) and Gray Fenter (7-2) worked three scoreless frames to begin their starts. West Virginia (25-27, 62-60) was the first to break through in the fourth inning, as Julio Rodriguez worked a leadoff walk and Austin Shenton singled to put runners at the corners for Dean Nevarez. The Power backstop drove a double into the left-center field alleyway that plated Rodriguez and put West Virginia ahead 1-0. The Power added another run in the frame, as Shenton scored from third on a sacrifice fly from DeAires Moses and expanded the lead to 2-0.
Sweet delivered a shutdown frame in the bottom of the inning, but struggled in the fifth, as Delmarva (33-18, 81-39) notched five base hits from the first six batters of the inning. The rally accounted for four runs, three of which were earned against Sweet, and handed the Shorebirds a 4-2 lead through five.
Matt De La Rosa replaced Fenter in the sixth and twirled a shutdown stanza to start his relief outing, despite the third hit of the day for Shenton that led off the inning. West Virginia responded in the seventh, as a leadoff double from Charlie McConnell, a hit by pitch and a Matt Sanders single loaded the bases for Julio. The Mariners' number two prospect (per MLB.com) drove in McConnell from third on a groundout, but that was all the Power were able to muster in the frame.
With a 4-3 Delmarva lead that followed the seventh-inning stretch, West Virginia called upon the recently-signed Brendan McGuigan to make his professional debut. The righty tossed a perfect seventh inning and recorded his first career strikeout against J.C. Encarnacion to close the frame. McGuigan retired the first batter he faced with his second strikeout in the eighth, but Delmarva ultimately put the game away with three runs on three hits, including a two-run Shayne Fontana double that made the score 7-3. An error later in the frame resulted in an extra run for the Shorebirds, who extended their lead to 8-3.
Jhon Peluffo (S,5), who came on in the eighth inning, twirled a perfect ninth and closed out an 8-3 series-clinching win for Delmarva.
The Power now returns to West Virginia for a four-game homestand with the Hagerstown Suns, beginning Thursday evening at Appalachian Power Park, with first pitch set for 7:05 p.m. RHP Evan Johnson (0-3, 3.86 ERA) gets the ball for West Virginia, while Hagerstown sends righty Jackson Rutledge (1-0, 2.70 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.
Our final Rock 105 Thirsty Thursday of the season kicks off our four-game home set against the Suns. Fans can enjoy $2.00 drink specials, while all college students can purchase two tickets for the price of one with a valid student ID at the Power Box Office. It's also Rock 105 Night, with LM Communications General Manager Randy Gray throwing out a ceremonial first pitch. Rock 105 is always giving away 100 general admission tickets to the game. The highlight of the homestand comes on Saturday, August 17, as the first 1,000 fans can get 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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