West Virginia got four runs in the top of the eighth then held on to get a 9-7 win over the Greensboro Grasshoppers on Friday night in the first game of a weekend road trip in North Carolina.
Power left fielder David Sheaffer led off the inning with a ground-rule double off Grasshoppers reliever Cristofer Melendez, who entered the seventh inning with a 5-3 lead and proceeded to give up four earned runs to be tagged with the loss. After a walk to Jake Anchia, Allen Montgomery replaced Melendez, but the inning was only getting started for West Virginia.
Montgomery walked Onil Pena to load the bases, and though Nick Rodriguez grounded out while driving in a run, the Power got back-to-back singles from Mike Salvatore and Ryan Ramiz to take an 8-5 lead. A sacrifice fly from Julio Rodriguez gave West Virginia a four-run lead before the end of the inning.
Not that it was safe. Greensboro’s Jack Herman led off the bottom of the eighth with a home run, was followed by a walk from Power reliever Bryan Pall to Greensboro’s Zack Kone. Anchia then was charged with a passed ball and Pall threw a pair of wild pitches, the second allowing Kone to score and to pull Greensboro to within 9-7.
Pall calmed down in the ninth and picked up his sixth save. Elias Espino (2-1) got the win.
The teams play again at 7 p.m. Saturday before wrapping up the series with a 4 p.m. game Sunday. The Power will return home for a seven-game home stand that begins Monday against Columbia.