Austin Shenton launched a three-run home run in the bottom of the first but it wasn’t enough as the West Virginia Power gave up five runs over the middle innings in a 5-4 loss to the Greensboro Grasshoppers Wednesday night at Appalachian Power Park in Charleston.
West Virginia dropped to 18-20 in the second half and has lost six of its last nine contests.
Power starter Josias De Los Santos was solid in a no-decision, allowing three runs on four hits and striking out four against two walks in 52/3 innings. Logan Rinehart suffered the loss, yielding two runs on two hits and one walk in 11/3 innings of relief.
Shenton staked De Los Santos and the Power to an early lead. Matt Sanders hit a one-out double and Bobby Honeyman walked before Shenton crushed a two-out, three-run homer to right field and put West Virginia up 3-0 in the bottom of the first.
The Grasshoppers finally got on the board with a run in the top of the fourth, but West Virginia took advantage of a Greensboro error in the bottom of the frame to take a 4-1 edge.
But the Power offense stalled after the fourth and Greensboro used some timely hits and two West Virginia miscues to plate four runs over the fifth, sixth and seventh innings.
The Grasshoppers’ Jonah Davis hit a solo homer in the fifth, and a wild pitch by Rinehart scored Greensboro’s Ji-Hwan Bae in the sixth.
Bae followed up with an RBI single in the seventh, and the Grasshoppers’ Jack Herman scored on a Power error to put Greensboro up 5-4.
West Virginia managed just two singles over the final three innings.
Greensboro reliever Winston Nicacio earned the win, allowing just two hits and striking out seven over the final four innings.
West Virginia and Greensboro continue their series at 7:05 p.m. Thursday. The Power will send left-hander Nate Fisher (0-0, 7.71 ERA) to the mound, while the Grasshoppers will counter with right-hander Colin Selby (4-3, 3.04).