Power's home struggles continue as Suns score 14-4 win
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Eventually, the West Virginia Power will start rewarding its home fans.
But nothing of that sort was happening Saturday night, as the Power was beaten thoroughly for the second straight evening in a 14-4 win for Hagerstown. It wasn't exactly a crisp game (it took three hours and nine minutes to play) but it sure was a crisp night at Appalachian Power Park.
A crowd of 1,621 attended as temperatures dropped into the mid-to-low 40s during game time.
The Suns (10-7) put on a hitting display in Friday night's 13-2 win and showed absolutely no sign of slowing down on Saturday as they piled up a whopping 18 hits and scored seven runs in the sixth inning to put things way out of reach.
The loss dropped the Power's record to just 2-8 in its friendly confines this year as opposed to 5-2 on the road.
"I think we're just getting away from our approaches and that's the biggest thing," Power first baseman Stetson Allie said. "But we're not too worried about it, it's early in the season and we're going to keep chipping away."
The Suns chipped away slowly at first Saturday, scoring a run in each of the second, third and fourth innings and then piled up 10 runs over the next two innings.
Hagerstown's offensive explosion ran Power starter Clay Holmes after just four innings.
Holmes (1-1) struggled with his command all evening and yielded three earned runs on three hits and five walks while striking out just one in taking the loss.
Meanwhile, Hagerstown starter Dixon Anderson was able to corral the Power bats early as the 6-foot-5 righty utilized an unorthodox delivery to mask a fastball that was topping out at 91 mph, resulting in a lot of late swings. Even when West Virginia was making contact, it was driving the ball straight into the ground.
"It was deceptive and there was a lot of movement," Allie said of Anderson's deliveries. "[His pitches had] a lot of sink - he's a good pitcher."
That changed in the fifth as the Power loaded the bases trailing 6-1 on a Walker Gourley triple, a Max Moroff walk and a Dilson Herrera hit by pitch.
Gourley scored on an error by left fielder Wander Ramos and Allie delivered another run on a sacrifice fly to left, but reliever Will Hudgins (2-0) was able to get out of the frame without any further damage and picked up the win after going 22/3 innings and allowing just an unearned run on one hit while striking out two.
Hagerstown responded to West Virginia's mini-flurry with seven staggering tallies and it was well on its way to the win.
Right fielder Brandon Miller led the Hagerstown offense, going 3 for 5 with a pair of tape-measure home runs (one cleared the scoreboard in left-center field) and three RBIs. Mike McQuillan also homered for the Suns and had a pair of hits and RBIs. Wes Schill and Hunter Bailey had two hits each and Pedro Severino finished 3 for 4.
Allie went 2 for 4 with a pair of RBIs and continued his torrid start to the season.
Prior to Saturday's games, Allie led the South Atlantic League in RBIs (18), was in a two-way tie for the league lead in home runs (six) and was fifth in batting average (.381).
The teams will conclude their four-game set at 2:05 p.m. today. Power ace Orlando Castro will get the ball. The left-hander has accumulated a 1-1 record and a 1.17 ERA in his three starts so far this season.
After today's game, West Virginia will take a day off before embarking on an eight-game road trip starting at 7:05 p.m. Tuesday at Charleston, S.C.
Reach Ryan Pritt at 304-348-7948, firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him at twitter.com/RPritt.