Friday afternoon the rains came over Linda K. Epling Stadium prior to the Prospect League clash between West Virginia and Jamestown. Once the rain stopped, the Jammers proceeded to rain on the Miners’ parade taking a 9-6 decision and a sweep of the two-game series.
Jamestown electrified the night early, scoring four runs in the opening frame. The Jammers recorded five hits in the inning, including a triple by Dominique Jackson and a single by Seth Wall that drove in two runs for a quick 4-0 lead.
Former Miners pitcher Anthony Bramley took the hill for Jamestown and proceeded to baffle his former team early, allowing just one hit over the first four innings while striking out six batters.
While Bramley was holding the Miners in check, Miners starter Kiefer Musiel settled down after a rough first inning to hold the Jammers scoreless for the next three frames.
However, in the top of the fifth the Miners came a little unglued.
A hit batter by Musiel, a throwing error by third baseman Mark DeYoung on what would have been a routine double play, a throwing error by catcher James Keller, another throwing miscue by first baseman Zach Sterry on another possible double play ball, and a passed ball allowed the Jammers to score two runs without a hit in the inning and take a 6-0 lead.
Although the Miners looked out of rhythm in the field in the fifth, they made up for it in the bottom half by finally getting to Bramley. They collected five hits, aided by a single from Jonathan Weeks that scored two runs and RBIs from Justin Paul, Sterry and Anthony Brunetti to close the lead to 6-5.
With the momentum now on the side of the Miners, Jamestown was held scoreless by the Miners’ pitching staff over the next three innings. But the Miners could not capitalize.
The best chance for West Virginia came in the bottom of the seventh, when Cal Hernandez doubled to lead off the inning, but three strikeouts left Hernandez at second to keep the game at 6-5.
The game finally got away from the Miners in the top of the ninth when the Jammers regained their opening-inning prowess and scored three runs on three big hits.
Zach Sterry smacked a double in the bottom of the ninth to score the final run for the Miners.
Although the loss was frustrating, Miners head coach Tim Epling has clear direction on what needs fixed.
“We have got to get some things better mentally. We lost some concentration there. The kids played hard, but this game is about momentum. We had the one big inning and had some runners on base, but we just didn’t execute. When you don’t execute in those situations, it just lets the air out of you.”
The Miners will be back in action tonight at Linda K. Epling when they open a two-game series with the Richmond RiverRats. Also as an added bonus to watching some great baseball, the Miners will start a new promotion that will run through the season.
King Coal Preowned Super Store of Oak Hill will sponsor a contest in which a fan will get the chance to throw a Nerf football 35 yards into the window of a 2014 Chevy Cruze. If they do so, they win the car.
The contest will run at every home game this season, even if a car is won.