West Virginia capitalizes on late miscues in 3-2 win

Joel Cesar spins three scoreless innings of relief to earn the win

Joel Cesar held Augusta off the scoreboard for three innings to earn the win in Wednesday's 3-2 victory. (Robin Black)

By David Kahn / West Virginia Power | June 13, 2018 6:43 PM

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. (June 13, 2018) - A pair of throwing errors in the ninth led to Kyle Watson scoring the go-ahead run and giving West Virginia a 3-2 win over the Augusta GreenJackets Wednesday evening at SRP Park, handing Augusta its ninth straight loss.

With the game tied at two in the ninth and two down, Watson worked a walk against GreenJackets reliever Frank Rubio (0-1). After Jesse Medrano took ball one, Rubio picked off towards first two times in a row. The second throw from Rubio was wide of the bag, sailing past Ryan Kirby at first and rolling into the Power bullpen in right field. Watson sprinted to second base and turned towards third as Aaron Bond picked up the ball and hurled it towards third. The ball one-hopped off the glove of Jacob Gonzalez at third base and dribbled into left field, allowing Watson to score the eventual winning run.

Samuel Reyes (S, 1) entered in the bottom of the ninth and closed out West Virginia's third straight win with a 1-2-3 frame, striking out the first two batters before inducing a line out to right from Kirby to end the game.

The Power (34-28) scored first for the ninth time in their last 10 games, pushing one across in the third against Augusta (35-29) starter John Gavin. Medrano walked to lead-off the frame and advanced to third on a wild pitch and a throwing error by the catcher, Rob Calabrese. Two batters later, Rodolfo Castro singled him in to make it 1-0 West Virginia. 

Cody Bolton shut down the GreenJackets through four innings, extending his scoreless innings streak to 19.1. However, Augusta was able to get to the right-hander in the fifth, as Gonzalez started the inning with a home run to left-center that tied the game at one. Kirby followed that up with a double before scoring on Aaron's Bond single to give the GreenJackets a 2-1 lead.

The Power was not done though. Oneil Cruz ignited their eighth-inning rally with a double into the left-field corner before Castro sacrificed him over to third with a perfectly-placed bunt. Calvin Mitchell then lofted a sacrifice fly to center that plated Cruz and knotted the game at two.

Joel Cesar (1-1) earned the win with three scoreless innings of relief, giving up just two hits and striking out five. 

West Virginia concludes its series with Augusta Thursday at SRP Park, with first pitch set for 7:05 p.m. RHP Hunter Stratton (1-3, 6.62 ERA) is on the bump for the Power, while the GreenJackets counter with righty Jose Marte (6-1, 2.75 ERA). Pregame coverage begins at 6:45 p.m. on The Jock 1300 and 1340 AM, as well as online at www.wvpower.com and via the TuneIn Radio App and MiLB First Pitch App.

Following Thursday's finale, the Power return to Appalachian Power Park June 15-17 for a three-game series against the Delmarva Shorebirds. The series will be West Virginia's last homestand of the first half and will be jam-packed with promotions. Fireworks Friday, presented by Electric 102.7 and Huntington Bank, kicks off the homestand on June 15, while on June 16, the Power will celebrate West Virginia Day with a Bluetooth speaker giveaway to the first 1,000 fans courtesy of Appalachian Power. West Virginia's first half promotional slate concludes Sunday, June 17, with a Lincoln County Day and Father's Day Kidz Sunday Funday at the ballpark. For tickets and more information, call the Power at 304-344-2287 or visit 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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