Trailing the Hickory Crawdads 5-1 in the bottom of the sixth inning of Sunday afternoon’s game at Appalachian Power Park, the West Virginia Power scored six runs on six hits to take the lead and defeated the Crawdads 8-5 to win their ninth game in a row.
Jamie Romack’s two out single in the top of the first inning gave Hickory their first lead of the game. In the bottom of the first, Brent Brewer doubled, stole third and then scored on a wild pitch to tie the game. Hickory regained the lead on Jamie Romack’s RBI double in the third and added to their lead later in the inning on Jim Negrych’s run scoring single. Kent Sakamoto ripped an RBI single in the fourth inning and Hickory plated their final run in the same frame when Wanell Macia crossed the plate as Alex Presley grounded into a 6-4-3 double play.
Hickory right hander Jared Hughes had retired 15 of the last 17 batters he faced, before the Power got to him in the bottom of the sixth. With the bases loaded and nobody out, Chuckie Caufield hit a groundball to Hickory shortstop Angel Gonzalez. Gonzalez booted the ball, allowing Taylor Green to score. The next batter, John Alonso brought the Power within a run on a two run double, and Michael Brantley followed Alonso with a two run double of his own. Kenny Holmberg capped the six run frame on a run scoring double. The Power added their final run on Kenny Holmberg’s solo homerun in the bottom of the eighth inning. It was Holmberg’s second of the year, and West Virginia’s first homerun in ten days.
In his first outing of the season, J.T. King (1-0) tossed three scoreless innings of two hit ball out of the bullpen to get the win, E.J. Shanks (2) tossed a scoreless ninth inning to get the save and Jared Hughes (1-1) suffered the loss.
The Power improved to 11-3 with the win and the Crawdads fell to 7-7 with the loss. Kenny Holmberg and Brent Brewer both had three hits for the Power while Taylor Green chipped in with two. Holmberg, John Alonso and Michael Brantley all knocked in two runs a piece for the Power.
The Power will continue the four game series against the Hickory Crawdads at Appalachian Power Park on Monday morning. The Power will start left hander Brae Wright (1-0, 2.93) and the Crawdads will counter with right hander Mike Crotta (0-0, 4.00). The first pitch is scheduled for 10:35 AM.