Spencer Provides Power, Morris Arm in 10-2 Charleston RiverDogs Win
West Virginia has the team name associated with power, but it sure seems that when the two teams get together that it is the Charleston RiverDogs that are the ones flexing their muscles. This time it was Connor Spencer and Gosuke Katoh who each homered in the team’s 10-2 victory over the West Virginia Power Monday night. That backed the stellar performance of Christian Morris who remained undefeated.
The Power got off to a good start when they began flexing their power in the top of the first. Morris retired the first hitter of the inning, but Tito Polo went deep for his fifth homerun of the season and it was 1-0.
The RiverDogs responded right away in the bottom of the first. Johnathan Brubaker started for West Virginia and he also retired the first hitter of the inning, but a throwing error by the pitcher allowed Angel Aguilar to reach first. Christ Gittens followed with a double that scored Aguilar all the way from first and the game was tied. A ground out by Spencer moved Gittens to third and Jhalan Jackson gave his team the lead with his 11th double of the season. A base hit by Nathan Mikolas scored Jackson and it was 3-1 after one.
In the bottom of the second Charleston extended their lead. Katoh was the first hitter of the inning and he went deep over the right field fence for his first homerun of the season. Brubaker retired the next two hitters, but a walk to Gittens kept the inning alive. That brought Spencer to the plate, who promptly deposited his fourth homer of the season over the right-center field fence to make it 6-1.
That would remain the score until the bottom of the fifth when Kyle Holder singled with two outs and scored on an Aguilar double. That made the score 7-1, which was plenty enough support for Morris.
The right-hander went 6-innings before his night was over. He allowed just 4-hits and a walk, while striking out 6. The outing was Morris’ (3-0) fourth straight impressive start in a Charleston uniform and moved his ERA to 1.48 in 24.1 innings pitched this season.
Jose Mesa took over from there and he looked just as impressive. The RiverDogs reliever earned his first save of the season, going 3-innings, allowing 2-hits, 2-walks and a run, while striking out 5. Mesa has now struck out 20 in 12.1 innings pitched.
The pitching staff for Charleston looked absolutely dominant. The hitters were looking every bit as much as well. They would add three more runs in the seventh. Kendall Coleman singled to start the inning and moved to third on a single by Katoh. Kyle Holder followed with the third straight hit to score Coleman and Katoh doubled to bring him Katoh while moving Holder to third. He would score on a sacrifice fly by Spencer.
Spencer finished the day 2-4 with a run scored and 3-RBI. Katoh was 3-5 with 2-runs and an RBI. Holder, Aguilar, Afenir, and Mikolas also had two-hits apiece in the game.
For the West Virginia Power, they were led by Polo who was 2-3 with a run and an RBI. He also walked. Ryan Nagle also had two hits.
These two teams continue their three-game series Tuesday night. Bret Helton (1-3, 5.29) goes for the Power against Luis Cedeno (0-1, 7.71). Game time is 7:05.
By Robert Pannier