Bill Hass with Bill on Baseball:West Virginia nips Hoppers 5-4

The teams play the third game of the series at 4 p.m. Sunday. Domingo German will start for the Hoppers….4pm at NewBridge Bank Park….

West Virginia nips Hoppers 5-4

West Virginia had just enough power to beat the Hoppers Saturday night.

A two-run homer by Wyatt Mathisen in the sixth inning gave the Power a three-run lead that proved just enough cushion in a 5-4 victory.

The Hoppers chopped two runs off the lead on Justin Bohn’s two-run single in the seventh inning. With runners at first and third and two outs, Austin Dean hit a ball past third base that looked like a sure double that would have scored the tying run and possibly the go-ahead run. But plate umpire Cody Waterhouse called it foul and everyone went back to their original stations.

Dean ultimately drew a walk that loaded the bases, but Felix Munoz flied out to left field to end the inning. The Hoppers got a runner on base in the eighth and ninth innings but couldn’t capitalize.

Ryan Newell started for Greensboro and it would have been hard for him to match his previous outing of 8 1/3 scoreless innings at Hickory. This time he gave up single runs in the first and fourth innings and a run in the sixth on a sacrifice fly before Mathisen’s homer.

“I thought he threw well,” said pitching coach Jeremy Powell. “He ran into some trouble in the sixth and (against Mathisen) he got an oh-and-2 count and made too good of a pitch. So one pitch beat him.”

The Hoppers got nice relief work from Miguel del Pozo, who has been struggling most of the season. The left-hander pitched a scoreless seventh and eighth, giving up one hit.

“He had energy and was aggressive,” Powell said, “and did what we’ve seen a lot.”

Juan Avila, Avery Romero and Yefri Perez each had two hits for Greensboro. Dean and Carlos Lopez had the other RBIs. But Lopez, who represented the go-ahead run in the bottom of the fourth, was picked off second base by catcher Kawika Emsley-Pai to end the inning.

The teams play the third game of the series at 4 p.m. Sunday. Domingo German will start for the Hoppers.