CHARLESTON, WV - Three West Virginia arms combined to shut down the Charleston RiverDogs offense over nine innings in a 7-0 defeat to even the four-game series on Sunday afternoon at Appalachian Power Park.
The defeat marked the first time the RiverDogs (57-65, 24-30) were blanked over nine innings since a July 14 defeat to Hickory at home. Designated hitter Dermis Garcia and first baseman Chris Hess each enjoyed multi-hit afternoons as the Dogs went just 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position on offense while leaving 10 baserunners stranded. All seven of the Holy City's hits went for singles.
After facing the minimum over the first two frames, Reiver Sanmartin coughed up a pair of runs in the third to get West Virginia (62-57, 25-28) on the board. Aussie infielder Robbie Glendinning and DH Jesse Medrano singled and doubled, respectively, for the Power's first knocks. Outfielder Lolo Sanchez beat out an infield hit as Sanmartin's errant throw to first sailed into foul territory to break the seal. Shortstop Connor Kaiser grounded out two batters later to double the advantage.
West Virginia tacked on in fourth, plating four more on four hits. Sanmartin finished the inning, allowing six runs (three earned) in total on seven hits in a losing effort. Second baseman Rodolfo Castro took Dalton Higgins deep in the fifth for his second home run in as many days against Charleston to pad the Power lead to 7-0. The 19-year-old Pirates prospect now has 11 homers on the season. Higgins has allowed a long ball in three straight appearances after keeping it in the ballpark over his first 40-plus frames to start the year.
Power righty Samuel Reyes (2-3) was called upon in emergency relief duty after Travis MacGregor exited with discomfort at the beginning of the third. The Dominican Republic arm scattered five hits across five scoreless frames to garner the win in relief.
Daniel Alvarez worked around back-to-back hits in the seventh to pitch a scoreless seventh and eighth for the Holy City, lowering his ERA to 1.26 in nine appearances in the South Atlantic League.
The defeat was the RiverDogs' 10th shutout loss of the season. Charleston's offense ranks last in the league in runs scored, averaging 3.8 per game this year.