Miners fall to Sliders, head to Kokomo next

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SPRINGFIELD, Ohio — The West Virginia Miners scored a run in the first to pull in front Friday night on the road against the Springfield Sliders, but the Prospect League East’s first-half champions never led again.

The Sliders (20-21, 8-5 second half) scored a run in the bottom of the inning to erase the Miners advantage and then picked up two more in the bottom of the second to pull ahead. They never looked back on their way to a 5-2 victory.

The Miners (25-16, 5-6 second half) picked up a run in the sixth to stay close, but the home team plated a run in the bottom of the sixth and seventh to put the game on ice as the West Virginia offense went cold.

Springfield starter Tanner Lupton (2-2) allowed just five Miners hits over seven innings of work. He struck out four and allowed just two runs, one earned, improving his ERA to 1.77.

Jose Martin was just as dominant out of the bullpen, picking up his second save of the season after allowing just one hit over two innings of work.

The Miners’ reshuffled pitching staff wasn’t nearly as effective.

Starter Tyler Rowe gave up six hits and three walks over 5 1/3 innings. His three earned runs increased his ERA to 7.23. Calvin Coker gave up a run on four hits in 1 1/3 innings, and Masashi Sakamoto’s scoreless inning was too little, too late.

Dom Iero was the only Miner who had multiple hits Friday. He finished 2 for 4 with an RBI. Dylan Harvey scored a run after a leadoff double, and Justin Paul, Jonathan Weeks and Ray Lopez had the other West Virginia hits.

Springfield was led by right fielder Drew Curtis, who was 2 for 4 with a pair of RBIs. Leadoff man Brett Charbonneau drove in a run on a pair of hits and a walk, and David Jacob was 2 for 4, improving his summer average to .397. The Sliders finished with 10 hits off West Virginia pitching, including a Dylan Rosa triple.

The Miners’ road trip will continue today in Kokomo, Ind., where the Miners will face the Jackrabbits. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. from Kokomo Stadium.

Head coach Tim Epling’s club will be at Champion City Sunday for a single game and then return home to Linda K. Epling Stadium on Tuesday to host the Butler BlueSox.

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