CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- As each new Charleston RiverDogs run crossed the plate in a disastrous seventh inning Wednesday afternoon for the West Virginia Power, Manager Michael Ryan's strategy became one of survival.
"We were just trying to stop the bleeding," Ryan said.
The Power needed three pitchers in the seventh to finally end Charleston's barrage, but when West Virginia finally jogged off the field, the damage was done. Through struggles both on the mound and in the field, the RiverDogs belted the Power for 11 runs in that inning to ultimately sweep their three-game series with a 12-5 win.
Five Power errors, including four in the seventh, combined with the team's pitching woes helped to create an insurmountable deficit.
"Struggling on the mound, when you don't throw the ball across the plate," Ryan said. "Defensively, you become stagnant. You're not ready for the ball to be hit your way, that's what happens."
The Power (1-6) was sitting on a comfortable 4-0 lead going into the seventh, thanks mainly to right fielder Josh Bell's two-out, three-run blast over the Appalachian Power Park fence in right-center field.
It was his first home run of the young season.
"It feels good," Bell said of that first homer. "I've been hitting balls hard, but hitting them into the wrong spots. It feels good to finally connect with one that got out of the park."
Clay Holmes started the game for West Virginia and left after five innings of two-hit, shutout ball, striking out three and walking four. David Jagoditsh retired the side in the sixth, but started to struggle in the seventh as the game started to spiral out of control.
Jagoditsh, Jason Creasy and Pat Ludwig all pitched the seventh, combining to give up eight hits and three walks, while suffering through those four errors.