Charleston, WV - The opening weekend for the Greenville Drive ended in disappointing fashion, as the West Virginia Power swept Sunday's doubleheader by claiming an 8-7 win in extra innings in the opener and coasting to a 10-3 victory in the nightcap.
The opener was a back-and-forth affair from the get-go, but the Power (2-2) walked off with a win in the first game for both teams under the new extra inning rules. With a Power runner placed on second, a sacrifice bunt was followed by a pair of walks. Deon Stafford then lifted a game-winning sacrifice fly to left off Brendan Nail (0-1).
Both teams struck for runs in the first. Kervin Suarez led off the game for the Drive (2-2) with a single, and he scored with two outs when Pedro Castellanos's ground ball was booted for an error. The Power countered for a run when Stafford hit a two-out single and later scored on a wild pitch.
The Power used the long ball to push their lead to 4-1, as Mason Martin smacked a two-run homer off Hunter Haworth in the third, and Chris Sharpe rudely greeted Marcos Lantigua with a solo homer to right in the fourth.
The Drive roared right back in the fifth with a four-run frame to go ahead 5-4. The lead was shaved to two when Cole Brannen doubled home a run, and C.J. Chatham followed with a game-tying two-run single up the middle. Two batters later, Everlouis Lozada lined a single to left to plate Chatham for the lead.
After Juan Florentino entered the game for the Drive in the sixth, West Virginia tacked on three runs to retake the lead. An RBI double by Lolo Sanchez tied things at five, and Calvin Mitchell then lifted a two-run shot to right-center.
Not to be outdone, Lozada grounded a double to left field in the top of the seventh to force extras, scoring Chatham, who led off with a double, and Castellanos, who singled.
Dylan Prohoroff (1-0) threw a scoreless top of the eighth for the Power to get the win.
Game two of the day was dominated by West Virginia, as they tagged Drive starter Nick Duron (0-1) for six runs over three innings. A five-run third was the big blow, and the frame included a three-run homer by Kyle Watson as well as a solo shot by Rafelin Lorenzo.
Evan Piechota (1-0) scattered one run and seven hits over five innings to win game two for the Power.
Castellanos was responsible for all three runs of game two for the Drive. He tripled in the fourth and came in on an error, and he added a two-run single in the seventh.
Lozada collected two hits in both games of the doubleheader for Greenville, while Castellanos and Chatham each picked up three hits on the day.
The Drive's season-opening road trip continues on Monday as they begin a three-game series against the Lexington Legends, an affiliate of the Kansas City Royals. First pitch in the opener is scheduled for 7:05 PM. Right-hander Alex Scherff, a fifth-round selection by Boston last summer, will make his professional debut for the Drive, and he will be opposed by Lexington right-hander Andres Sotillet.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.