Pena homers in third straight game in 8-6 loss

Onil Pena becomes the first Power player to homer in three straight contests since Adrian Valerio in 2017

Onil Pena went deep for the third straight game in the Power's 8-6 loss to Rome Tuesday. (Joe Williams)

By Kyle Youmans / West Virginia Power | August 6, 2019 2:02 PM

CHARLESTON, W. Va. (August 6, 2019) - Onil Pena cranked his third home run in as many ballgames, but West Virginia gave up six unanswered runs and fell, 8-6, to the Rome Braves, Tuesday afternoon at Appalachian Power Park.

For the second straight game, Pena's homer came in the fourth inning, with Dean Nevarez leading off the frame with a base hit. The Power (21-24, 58-57) then delivered a 433-foot blast to center field, his 15th home run of the season, that extended their lead to 5-2. With that homer, Pena became the first West Virginia slugger to leave the yard in three consecutive games since Adrian Valerio did it in June 2017 against Lexington.

Just like they did the previous two games, the Braves (22-23, 52-62) opened the scoring in the first inning. This time it started on back-to-back base hits to begin the day, while a Shea Langeliers sacrifice fly gave Rome a 1-0 lead. In the second, The Braves added another run with a leadoff double from Jeremy Fernandez and an RBI single off the bat of Drew Campbell that made it 2-0.

West Virginia answered in the third inning, as Charlie McConnell notched a leadoff single and Manny Pazos doubled off the wall in left to put runners at second and third with no one out. A couple batters later, Matt Sanders came through with an RBI single that put the Power on the board and Julio Rodriguez followed with a laced double down the left-field line that tied the ballgame at two. The next batter, Bobby Honeyman, drove in another run with a groundout and put West Virginia ahead 3-2.

Nate Fisher settled into his outing after the second inning and strung together a streak of nine straight batters retired into the fifth. Fisher ultimately worked through six frames and notched a career-high six strikeouts en route to his first career quality start.

However, the Power saw their lead quickly disappear in the seventh, as four of the first five Rome batters in the inning reached against Reid Morgan (1-1). The Braves ended up plating four runs in the frame, and added two more in the eighth on a pair of solo homers by Braulio Vasquez and Justin Dean.  

Pena got one of those runs back in the eighth with an RBI single, but Tanner Lawson (S,2) subdued West Virginia in the ninth to pick up his second save of the season. Kasey Kalich (1-1) grabbed the win with two innings of hitless relief.

Following the league-wide off day Wednesday, the Power hits the road for a four-game series with the Lakewood BlueClaws beginning Thursday night at FirstEnergy Park, with first pitch set for 7:05 p.m. RHP Ryne Inman (7-7, 4.74 ERA) gets the ball for West Virginia, while Lakewood sends righty Tom Sutera (0-1, 13.50 ERA) to the bump. Pregame coverage begins at 6:45 p.m. on The Jock 1300 and 1340 AM, as well as online at wvpower.com and via the TuneIn Radio App and MiLB First Pitch App.

The Power returns to Appalachian Power Park on Thursday, August 15, as they welcome the Hagerstown Suns to town for a four-game series. The highlight of the homestand comes on Saturday, August 17, as the first 1,000 fans can get a Jarred Kelenic prospect T-shirt giveaway, courtesy of Marshall Orthopaedics. West Virginia will also host a special postgame fireworks show following the final out Saturday, presented by Constellium. For tickets and more information, call the Power at 304-344-2287 or visit www.wvpower.com.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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