Appalachian Power Park has not been kind to the home team this season.
Jose Antequra reached on an error in the 11th inning and would later score as the visiting Lakewood BlueClaws brought an end to the West Virginia Power’s six-game winning streak on Thursday with a 2-1 victory.
It was the seventh loss in eight games in Charleston this season for the Power (7-8) and also the fourth loss in as many extra-inning games for the club this season.
“They threw some good arms at us and they pitched very well, but so did we,” Power manager Wyatt Toregas said. “It was one those games where one run was the difference.”
Danny Zardon smacked a double to score Alex Wojciechowski in the fifth inning to give Lakewood a 1-0 lead.
The BlueClaws (8-7) would hold that lead until the bottom of the ninth.
Carlos Munoz got the rally started with a single and was replaced by pinch-runner Logan Ratledge. With two outs and catcher Chris Harvey at the plate, Ratledge attempted to steal second base.
The throw by Lakewood catcher Henri Lartigue skipped into the outfield, allowing Ratledge to advance to third. Lakewood center fielder Carlos Duran had trouble handling the ball, so Toregas sent Ratledge around third to tie the game 1-1.
“Good teams find a way to keep the game going and find a way to win,” Toregas said. “It’s a matter of time until we win one of those games and then we’re going to go over the top. I really liked the fight and obviously our road trip was awesome, now we just have to keep it going.”
Power starting pitcher Cam Vieux took the loss. Vieux, a sixth-round draft pick by the Pittsburgh Pirates last season out of Michigan State, pitched six innings of four-hit baseball while walking two and striking out one.
“It was just a good pitching night,” Toregas said. “Cam, the one slider, it wasn’t even really that bad of a pitch, the guy just got to it. Our defense was a little shaded the other way and it was one of those things where there was a lot of space out there, you’ve got to pick a side and cover it. It found that big open area but at the end of the day Cam pitched good.
“The pitching showed up and they need to continue to show up. They’ve been good for us. “
The Power (8-7) entered Monday’s game as the top hitting team in the South Atlantic League. West Virginia led the league in team batting average (.286) and home runs (17) while sitting at second in runs batted in (72) and also having fewer strikeouts (102) than any other team in the league.
On Thursday, however, the bats just weren’t there for West Virginia — especially with runners on base. The Power had seven hits for the game but went 0 for 8 with runners in scoring position and stranded six base runners in the loss.
“We’re competing nightly, which is our main goal,” Toregas said. “If we compete nightly I think we’ll come out on the good end of those more often than not.”
For Lakewood, relief pitcher Will Hibbs (3-0) got the win after striking out two and not allowing a hit in the final two innings.
The Power and BlueClaws continue their four-game series Friday at Appalachian Power Park. James Marvel (1-0) is scheduled to start on the mound for West Virignia while left-hander Nick Fanti (0-0) is slated to pitch for Lakewood.
n NOTES: Mickey Moniak, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 Major League Baseball draft by the Philadelphia Phillies, was not in the Lakewood lineup for Thursday’s game. He left Wednesday’s game against Hagerstown after injuring a finger sliding into home plate, according to a report in the Philly Voice.
If Moniak gets into a game during the remainder of this four-game series, he will be the first No. 1 overall pick to play at Appalachian Power Park since current Washington Nationals star and former National League Most Valuable Player Bryce Harper visited as a member of the 2011 Hagerstown Suns.