The West Virginia Power rallied to beat the Kannapolis Intimidators 9-8 Monday night at Appalachian Power Park. The Power trailed 7-2 after six and a half innings, but plated two in the seventh and five in the eighth to steal the win and series.
West Virginia, the Class A minor league affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates, gained an early advantage when Red Oak graduate Matt Curry hit his seventh home run of the season in the second inning. Curry’s solo shot gave the Power a short-lived lead against Kannapolis starter Spencer Arroyo.
In the top of the third, the Intimidators knocked West Virginia’s starting pitcher Zack Von Rosenberg out of the game with six runs on six hits. Kannapolis sent 10 men to the plate in the inning in building a 6-1 lead.
The Power cut the deficit to four with a run in the bottom of the third, but the Intimidators continued to pile up the hits and eventually added a run in the sixth and a run in the seventh against West Virginia reliever Zac Fuesser to create an 8-2 edge.
In the bottom of the seventh, Chase Cooney replaced Arroyo on the mound for Kannapolis and surrendered two runs when Jairo Marquez scored on an Eric Avila triple and Avila crossed on a ground out by Drew Maggi. The Power had the tying run on deck when Leroy Hunt replaced Cooney and struck out Matt Curry to end the threat.
In the bottom of the eighth, Ennis graduate Justin Howard led off with a double, Mel Rojas Jr. was hit by a pitch, and Kawika Emsley-Pai walked to load the bases with no one out.
Hunt was replaced after Marquez followed with a run-scoring single, and his replacement, Jimmy Ballinger, induced a fielder’s choice that allowed a run to score to make it an 8-6 game. With two outs, Kevin Mort singled in Emsley-Pai to put West Virginia down by one. Rogelio Noris, who had entered the game as a pinch hitter in the seventh, tripled in Avila and Mort to give the Power the 9-8 advantage.
Neither starter factored in the decision, with Von Rosenberg surrendering six runs on six hits and two walks over two and a third innings, while Arroyo was in the for the win until the eighth after allowing two runs on four hits with eight strikeouts over six innings. Zach Foster (1-1) pitched the final two innings to earn the win, while Ballinger (2-3) was charged with a blown save and took the loss.
Four Power players had two hits apiece, and Noris and Avila drove in two runs each. Four different Intimidators had multi-hit games, led by a four hit night from Brady Shoemaker.
The Power took three out of four from the Intimidators during this series after having been swept in five games at Fieldcrest Cannon Stadium in Kannapolis in April.
West Virginia’s victory was its first this season when trailing after six innings. The Power had been 0-15 in scheduled nine-inning games when trailing after six.
West Virginia opens a three game series at Lexington today and will return home to host the Lakewood BlueClaws Friday. All games carried live on wvpower.com.