CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Opening day for the West Virginia Power at Appalachian Power Park had just about everything the fans could ask for Thursday night.
Fans looking for freebies were treated to a free Power magnet schedule giveaway for the first 2,500 through the gate. The fact it came on a popular Thirsty Thursday satisfied those fans looking for specials on beer prices and a special fireworks display was scheduled.
And then there was baseball, and weather issues.
For the first time in seven months, fans were able to watch the team but there wasn't much to see as the Power was shutout 3-0 by Asheville in a game played through a driving rain storm.
A crowd of 2,693 was announced but only a couple hundred stayed throughout, as temperatures dropped 15 degrees and the rain never stopped.
"It was a tough night," Power Manager Michael Ryan said. "We appreciate our fans for sticking through it. It's tough to watch on a night like that with the rain and cold. I wish we could have played a better game for them but we will bounce back (today)."
The Power bats were stymied all night, as four different Asheville pitchers held West Virginia to just two hits. The Tourists struck out 14 on the night.
"It was tough conditions but you have to credit the Asheville pitching," Ryan said. "They pounded the strike zone and we chased a little bit and got out of our hitting zone. You have to tip your cap to them. They pitched a great game and outplayed us."
Asheville starter Eddie Butler did the most damage to the Power, allowing one hit in 5 1/3 innings with seven strikeouts and no walks. Roberto Padilla, Rayan Gonzalez and Raul Fernandez combined to finish the shutout.
"You have to tip your hat to (Butler)," Ryan said. "He is very difficult to hit and has a bright future. I was very impressed by him. He had a very tight slider mixed and matched with his off-speed and his fastball. It was tough conditions and that guy is tough to hit off on any night."