CHARLESTON, WV - The Delmarva Shorebirds got six strong innings from their relief pitching, locking down the West Virginia Power 5-2 on Thursday night at Appalachian Power Park.
Juan Echevarria (1-0) picked up the win for the Shorebirds (19-9, 67-30), tossing a scoreless fourth inning and striking out a pair. Evan Johnson (0-1) took the loss in his debut with the Power (14-14, 51-47), surrendering three runs (two earned) on four hits in 4.1 innings with no walks and seven strikeouts. Reed Hayes earned his third save of the year, retiring all four batters he faced.
West Virginia took their initial lead right off the bat. Ryan Ramiz led off the bottom of the first with a double and advanced to third on a groundout. After a hit batsman, Bobby Honeyman rolled a single up the middle, scoring Ramiz to put the Power up 1-0. West Virginia had a plethora of chances to add on in the early game but could never break through, stranding two men on in each of the first four innings.
After surviving the initial flurry, the Shorebirds turned it around in the fifth. Ryne Ogren led off with a single, then Alexis Torres banged a double off the right center wall to put men on second and third. After a strikeout, Jean Carlos Encarnacion bounced one to third base that Austin Shenton booted and let scoot into left. Ogren scored to tie it at 1-1, Torres took third, and Encarnacion ended up at second base. Jaylen Ferguson followed with a groundball single up the middle, scoring both runners to put Delmarva up 3-1.
Adam Hall led off the sixth with an infield hit and eventually stole second base. After two quick outs, Torres pegged a single to right, scoring Hall to make it 4-1 Shorebirds.
The Power put up a serious threat in the bottom of the eighth. Shenton led off with a walk, then after a pair of strikeouts Charlie McConnell singled, and Nick Rodriguez walked to load the bases. Ryan Ramiz followed with a run-scoring single to right, moving everybody up a base and cutting the Shorebird lead to 4-2. Hayes came in from there and got Matt Sanders to fly out to shallow right, stranding the bases loaded and taking the wind out of West Virginia's sails for the rest of the night.
Encarnacion provided the knockout punch in the ninth, crushing a solo homer to left to give the game its final margin.
Torres led the way for the Shorebirds, going 2-for-4 with a double, run, and RBI. Encarnacion went 1-for-4 with his eighth homer, two runs, and two RBIs.
Ramiz provided a spark for the Power at the top of the lineup, going 3-for-5 with a double, run, and RBI. Dean Nevarez and McConnell also had two hits.
Gray Fenter made the start for Delmarva and lasted three innings, allowing one run on six hits with no walks and six strikeouts. After Echevarria's scoreless fourth, Jhon Peluffo came in for a season-long 3.2 innings, giving up just one run and striking out four while earning a hold.
The Shorebirds look to make it two in a row over the Power on Friday night. Drew Rom (6-1, 1.82) takes the hill for Delmarva against West Virginia's Josias De Los Santos (1-6, 5.43). First pitch is set for for 7:15 p.m. and pregame coverage on Fox Sports 960 AM and the MiLB First Pitch App begins at 7:00 with Will DeBoer on the call.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.