CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- It really seemed as if the West Virginia Power relievers had taken a step forward.
After five of six inherited runners had scored over the team's first three games, the Power stared down six more with the game on the line Sunday and each time kept Asheville off the board.
But if Sunday was a step forward, Monday was a large step back.
The Power built an early 4-0 lead and starter Tyler Glasnow was solid in his first outing of the year, but after his five innings West Virginia's bullpen couldn't hold onto the lead as Charleston (S.C.) scored nine runs in the final three innings en route to a 9-4 win in the first game of a three-game series at Appalachian Power Park. A crowd of 1,479 attended.
Charleston catcher Peter O'Brien had a go-ahead, two-run blast in the top of the eighth that clanged off the scoreboard and catapulted the RiverDogs to victory.
"It felt great," O'Brien said. "I was just looking for something up in that situation and I got the pitch. The team was great. Even though we were down in the beginning, we've got a great team and a great group of hitters, a great group of pitchers and we stuck in there and that's how baseball is played."
Dante Bichette Jr. added a punctuating blast with a two-out, opposite-field grand slam in the ninth inning.
Both bombs were launched off Power reliever Bryton Trepagnier, who was hit with the loss after giving up seven runs in just 12/3 innings on five hits and two walks. Fellow reliever Josh Smith wasn't much better over the prior two innings, as he yielded a pair of earned runs on three hits and a walk.
O'Brien couldn't place his finger on anything in particular about the difference between the Power's starter and relievers, even after homering and doubling in the late innings.
"It's still early in the season, so we've still got things we're all trying to work on and fix," O'Brien said. "That's the name of the game - little by little, just keep working."
It was all going so well early for the home team.