West Virginia Power 8, Hickory Crawdads 6
The Power also played in less than 2.5 hours, holding off a 4-run Hickory rally in the 9th inning to hold on to the win for starter Brandon Cumpton. It was Cumpton’s 6th victory. He pitched 7 innings and allowed 2 runs (one earned) on just 2 hits and 2 walks, with 4 strikeouts.
The Power began the scoring with one run in the bottom of the 1st. SS Drew Maggi and CF Mel Rojas opened the inning with back-to-back singles, which put Maggi on third. RF Dan Grovatt brought in Maggi with a sacrifice fly, though a double play ended the inning.
Cumpton eased through his first 3 innings, working around a walk in the 2nd and a batter reaching on a throwing error in the 3rd. He gave up a lead-off homer in the 4th inning, then hit a batter, but erased that runner with a double play. The homer tied the score at 1-1.
The Power started a small rally in the bottom of the 4th, when 1B Justin Howard and DH Kawika Emsley-Pai both walked, but Hickory got out of that inning with a double play. Then in the bottom of the 5th, LF Rogelios Noris reached base on a wild pitch for strike three. He moved to second base on 3B Eric Avila’s single, then to third on 2B Andy Vasquez’s sacrifice bunt. Rojas loaded the bases with a walk, then Grovatt singled up the middle, driving in both Noris and Avila for a 3-1 lead.
Compton held the Crawdads to just one base runner (a hit batter) over the 5th and 6th innings. Then they scored an unearned run in the 7th. The first batter of the inning walked, then the next batter reached on Avila’s fielding errors. A sacrifice bunt moved both runners into scoring position, and an RBI ground out allowed the lead runner to score.
Two insurance runs came in for the Power in the bottom of the 7th. Vasquez was hit by a pitch, and was bunted to second by Maggi. He scored on Rojas’ grounder through the hole and into left field. Grovatt also hit to the left fielder, but this time the fielder missed, and his fielding error let Rojas score from second base, for a 5-2 lead. They tacked on 3 more in the 8th. Emsley-Pai doubled, C Elias Diaz singled, and Noris followed with a 2-run homer, bringing the score to 8-2.
Trent Stevenson relieved Cumpton to begin the top of the 8th. Stevenson got three quick outs in the 8th. Then the Crawdads rallied in the top of the 9th. A walk and defensive indifference gave Stevenson a runner on second base. A single and a sacrifice fly brought the lead runner in to score. Another single made it two runners on base, and a 3-run homer brought the score to 8-6. Stevenson buckled down, though, and got two fly outs to end the game. He earned his second save despite the 4 runs scorining.