First baseman Dermis Garcia clobbered a solo fly to left field that gave the RiverDogs a 1-0 lead until the ninth inning before West Virginia stole the series finale with a walk-off RBI single by Hennry Rosario in a 2-1 defeat on Thursday evening at Appalachian Power Park. Despite the loss, the RiverDogs’ magic number falls to six with a loss by Rome with 10 games remaining.
The RiverDogs (70-59, 36-23) had several chances to tack onto their early lead, including in the second just after Garcia put the RiverDogs on the board with his fifth Charleston homer and 14th overall on the season. Charleston left the bases loaded in both the second and third frames following Garcia’s monster shot to left, stranding eight men in total on the evening.
The Power (62-64, 32-28) rallied late to stay hanging around the North division second-half race as they remain 3.0 games back of first-place with the win. After posting a scoreless eighth, David Sosebee (2-3) walked the leadoff man, Oneil Cruz, to start the ninth and gave up a single to first baseman Albert Baur. Catcher Yoel Gonzalez successfully laid down a sacrifice on the second attempt to move the runners over before the RiverDogs elected to intentionally walk Ryan Nagle to set up the double play. Things didn’t go according to plan as second baseman Kevin Mahala cranked a fly ball to left that scored Cruz before an 0-2 mistake to Rosario ended the ballgame.
Nick Green pitched well in a no-decision effort, logging five strikeouts with no walks and scattering three hits across five shutout frames. The former Rangers farmhand came up with a key strikeout of centerfielder Victor Fernandez in the fifth that stranded a runner at third to end his night on the mound.
Righty Garrett Mundell logged two scoreless innings of work before Sosebee was charged with a blown save and a loss in his first game back with Charleston after seeing action with Double-A Trenton earlier in the week. It was just the sixth time all season the RiverDogs lost after holding a lead after five innings or later, and just fourth time they fell after taking a lead to the ninth.
The RiverDogs continue their six-day road trip, next taking on the Delmarva Shorebirds, the Class-A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles, in a three-game tilt at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium starting on Friday night at 7:05. Charleston will send staff ace, righty Freicer Perez (10-3, 2.88) as the Shorebirds counter with right-hander Matthias Dietz (3-9, 4.92). The game can be tuned into on “The Big Talker” WTMA 1250 AM and online with streaming audio via riverdogs.com and the RiverDogs’ TuneIn Radio app station.