West Virginia Power pitchers issued seven walks, including five by starter Bret Helton, and the Power lost a lead it couldn't quite get back, falling to Hagerstown, 6-5, Saturday night in Charleston, W. Va.
Helton had trouble hitting the zone in his 4 2-3 innings. His curveball came out in a big, sweeping "C" shape from the batter's viewpoint, and was fairly nasty when located, but that wasn't frequent enough on this night, and he finished with three strikeouts and three runs allowed on four hits.
Carlos Munoz and Ryan Nagle each went 2-for-4, leading the West Virginia offense on a night Ke'Bryan Hayes didn't play.
Munoz, listed at 5-foot 11, 225 pounds, made his way from first base to score in the second inning, stealing second, advancing to third on a wild pitch and scoring on a Nagle single. He also beat out a pretty strong throw from highly-ranked Nationals outfielder Victor Robles on a fourth-inning sacrifice fly.
Ty Moore had an eventful night in left field, misplaying two clean singles to allow the batter to take second (he was charged with an error on one), but running pretty hard into the wall for a nice catch in between.
Pitching strictly in relief so far this season, Seth McGarry pitched 2 1-3 strong innings, getting a groundout to end a bases-loaded jam when he entered in the fifth and pitching two scoreless after that.
Billy Roth, in his first appearance of the season, got tagged for four hits in his two innings and the Suns retook the lead, 6-4.
West Virginia fought back with three straight singles from Logan Ratledge, Mitchell Tolman and Casey Hughston, and Ratledge scored on one of many Hagerstown wild pitches in the game, but Nagle, on base three times on the night, tapped out to the pitcher to end the threat.
I was able to interview Power manager Brian Esposito and several players before the game (thanks again to the ever-helpful Adam Marco and the Power), so keep an eye out for those in the coming days.