Logan Ratledge Delivers Walk-Off Hit to Give West Virginia Power 4-3 Win
The West Virginia Power were having some troubles through the first two games of their four-game series against the Charleston RiverDogs. Chris Gittens three-homeruns Thursday night was followed by an outstanding outing by Yefrey Ramirez to give the RiverDogs victories in the first two games. Game three looked like it was going to be the opportunity for the third as Charleston took the lead twice, only to watch the West Virginia Power battle back to tie the score both times, then finally win in the 12th inning on a single by Logan Ratledge.
Daris Vargas started for the RiverDogs looking to break a three-game losing streak. He was opposed by Bret Helton, and both pitchers shutdown their opponents through the first three-innings.
In the top of the fourth, Charleston took the lead. Helton retired the first batter of the inning, but Angel Aguilar drilled his eighth homerun of the season and second of the series over the center field fence to give the RiverDogs the 1-0 lead.
The Power would get it right back in the bottom half of the inning. Ratledge was hit by a pitch with one out and moved to second on a wild pitch. After a walk to Carlos Munoz, Casey Hughston doubled to score Ratledge and tie the game.
In the top of the fifth, the RiverDogs retook the lead. Gosuke Katoh walked with one out and scored when Leonardo Molina hit his second homer of the year, a shot that cleared the center field fence as well to give Charleston back the lead.
West Virginia responded, again, in the bottom of the fifth. Logan Hill began the inning by drawing a walk and moved to second when he stole his fifth base of the season. John Bormann then drilled a line drive to right field that ricocheted off the wall. Hill easily scored and Bormann ran hard all the way out of the box. He scored on the inside-the-park homerun, his first homer of the season and the game was tied once again.
With the score tied at three after five innings the marathon began. For the next six innings, both teams got outstanding work out of their bullpens to keep their opponent from getting a lead. Hobie Harris took over for Vargas in the sixth and tossed 3.2-innings of outstanding relief, allowing 3-hits and a walk. He lowered his ERA to 1.93 and, more importantly, kept the Power from scoring.
Jose Mesa relieved in the ninth, and pitched brilliantly over the next two innings. He looked incredibly good, especially when he came in with two on and two out in the ninth. He struck out Hill to end the inning and keep the tie intact.
The Power’s bullpen was equally as dominant. Tanner Anderson threw 2.1-innings of 1-hit ball and Cesilio Pimentel hurled three outstanding innings, yielding only one-hit as well. The RiverDogs seemed to have no answers for the West Virginia bullpen.
In the bottom of the 12th the West Virginia Power would finally break out on top. Mesa retired the first two hitters of the inning but Mitchell Tolman doubled to center field to keep the inning alive. Next up was Ratledge, who was looking to give the home team a big walk-off victory. He would ground a single into right field. Jhalan Jackson’s throw to the plate was not in time to catch Tolman and the Power won 4-3.
Pimentel (1-1) earned the win and Mesa (0-3) took the loss. Casey Hughston was 3-4 with 2-doubles and an RBI.
Game 4 of this series continues on Sunday. Nestor Cortes (3-1, 0.98) will go for the Charleston RiverDogs. Game time is 2:05.
By Robert Pannier