Like many of his Class A counterparts, Power left-hander Zack Dodson has often tried to pitch precisely to a predetermined spot.
He's probably carried perfectionism to an extreme, much like a basketball player who only wants swishes.
Dodson's effort on Sunday afternoon may serve as a worthwhile learning experience.
Less concerned with precision, he allowed just one hit, one run and one walk in six innings and, though he didn't pick up the victory, helped the Power snap a seven-game losing streak with a 3-1 win over the Charleston RiverDogs at Appalachian Power Park. A crowd of 1,700 attended.
Reliever Josh Poytress pitched the final three innings, yielding just a hit and a walk to pick up the victory.
In his previous three outings, Dodson had surrendered 23 hits and 11 earned runs in 131/3 innings but on Sunday didn't allow a hit or a run until the fifth inning.
"Up to this point,'' said Dodson, a 21-year-old Texas native, "I was trying to do too much, trying so hard to get guys out and leaving the ball up. Today I just focused on getting the ball down in the zone. I just let my defense play. I let 'em hit the ball, and they did exactly what I wanted.''
"That's the best that I've ever seen him,'' said Power manager Rick Sofield. "Good pitches, quality pitches are like the ones he threw today - outer half, inner half. Not on the black, not perfectly thrown. Ground balls at your teammates, long fly balls to center are attractive things. He took some pressure off himself and let his teammates work behind him.''
The Power trailed 1-0 when Dodson departed but tied it at 1-1 as Francisco Diaz led off the sixth with a double, took third on an infield out and came home on Kirk Singer's high-hopper to third base. Jose Osuna homered to left in the seventh, and Alen Hanson added some insurance with a homer to right in the eighth.
The RiverDogs, who entered Sunday's play with a league-leading .290 batting average, had outscored the Power 39-9 in winning the first three games of the four-game series.
"We've played well enough to win; the past couple days we haven't,'' said Sofield. "We lost some tough ones on the road. We needed this win as a team. There was some determination that needed to be had. We needed for someone to step up with a quality start.''
POWER POINTS: The Power will play host to the Lexington Legends at 7:05 tonight, Tuesday and Wednesday. ... Former Yankees and Cubs manager Gene Michael, who's now a Yankee scout, scouted the two teams this weekend. He also managed the 1979 Columbus Clippers of the Class AAA International and competed against the Charleston Charlies at Watt Powell Park. He remembers the old ballpark. "It was a dump,'' he said with a smile Sunday.