By Gary Fauber
Assistant Sports Editor
One streak came to an emphatic end for the West Virginia Miners. They’ll have a chance to start another much more important streak on Tuesday.
The Miners suffered a doubleheader sweep at the hands of the Champion City Kings on Sunday, and neither game was close. The Kings scored seven runs in the sixth inning of the first game en route to a 12-3 win.
They picked up where they left off to start the nightcap, riding a five-run first inning to a 6-2 victory.
West Virginia (19-10) had won nine consecutive games going in.
Jake Belinda (2-1) took the loss in Game 1. He lasted 3 2-3 innings, allowing four runs, three earned, and five hits while walking two and striking out one.
All seven runs in the sixth were scored off reliever Joshua Falbo.
Jonathan Weeks drove in two runs for the Miners.
In the second game. Champion City scored five runs off Miners starter Austin Simms (2-1). Simms was tagged for six earned runs and six hits in 1 2-3 innings.
The only good thing for the Miners on Sunday was that Jamestown lost 4-1 to Chillicothe. The Miners and the Jammers are tied atop the Prospect League’s East Division standings. The first-half division winners will clinch a spot in the league playoffs.
West Virginia missed the playoffs last year after qualifying in each of its first four seasons from 2010-2013.
The teams meet Tuesday in New York in the final game of the half, meaning the winner will secure the playoff spot.
West Virginia will play the game without manager Tim Epling, who was ejected from both games against Champion City. Epling will serve a one-game suspension.
Center fielder Dylan Harvey, the league leader with 26 stolen bases, was also ejected from the second game.
Tuesday’s game will start at 6:35 p.m. and can be heard on WJLS AM 560 and online at wjlsam.com with Garry Griffith on the call.