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W. Va. Power wins home opener in 10th inning

Charleston Gazette photo by F. Brian Ferguson West Virginia Power players line up before the start of Thursday night's season opener at Appalachian Power Park.
Charleston Gazette photo by F. Brian Ferguson
West Virginia Power players line up before the start of Thursday night’s season opener at Appalachian Power Park.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The Power’s three early runs and a healthy scattering of hits throughout the premises raised the prospect of good things to come.

The invigorating 81-degree game-time weather added to the festive atmosphere, too.

In addition, a handful of folks watched from the condominium rooftop across Smith Street, giving the ballpark a new frill reminiscent of Watt Powell Park where fans watched from the railroad tracks beyond the right-field wall.

But the ballpark’s season-opening atmosphere picked up even more in the bottom of the 10th inning when the Power’s Jerrick Suiter slapped a slow roller to shortstop, and pinch-runner Jeff Roy, running at the crack of the bat from third base, scurried home and slid under the tag to give the Power a 7-6 victory over the Savannah Sand Gnats Thursday night at Appalachian Power Park. A loud crowd of 4,034 attended.

Suiter’s teammates then streamed out of the dugout and engulfed him in a celebratory assault near first base.

“I see the entire team charging at me,’’ said Suiter, a 22-year-old native of Valparaiso, Ind. “It was pretty cool. That was the first walkoff I’ve ever had. It’s a really good feeling.’’

 With one out in the 10th, Chase Simpson walked, and Roy, the pinch-runner, stole second and moved to third on a throwing error, bringing up Suiter with one out and the infield drawn in…

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