Nelson Leads Nashville Homer Barrage

West Virginia loses second straight to Asheville as lead drops to 1.5 games in SAL race. Huntsville and Helena fall, while Brevard County earns split of doubleheader.

Nashville

The Sounds remained a half-game from getting out of their season-long stay in the cellar, igniting an 11-4 victory over Round Rock with a five-run first inning Wednesday night.

Nashville's 18-hit barrage featured five home runs, including two from first baseman Brad Nelson, who clubbed a three-run shot in the first and a solo blast in the fourth to give him 16 for the season.

Right fielder Brendan Katin smacked his 15th in the first, second baseman Callix Crabbe drilled his first in the second and third baseman Joe Dillon swatted his fourth in the eighth, all solo shots.

Nelson finished 4 for 5 with four RBIs, Dillon and Katin went 3 for 5, and Crabbe, center fielder Tony Gwynn, shortstop Adam Heether and left fielder Vinny Rottino each chipped in two hits.

Chris Narveson (6-12) benefited from the explosion, allowing four runs on six hits and three walks while fanning seven in 6.2 innings.

Huntsville

The Stars (27-31) fell behind early and didn't hit or pitch well enough to get back into the game, falling 8-2 at Birmingham.

Huntsville managed only six hits, with lead-off batter and left fielder Michael Brantley and catcher Martin Maldonado collecting two apiece as the visitors struck out eight times.

Lefty Brae Wright (6-10) suffered one of his roughest outings of the season in losing his fourth consecutive decision, allowing seven earned runs and 10 hits in seven innings, although his ERA remains respectable at 3.66.

Brevard County

The Manatees continued their rugged makeup schedule, splitting another doubleheader, dropping the opener to Jupiter, 5-4, before taking the nightcap, 3-2.

Brevard County (27-31) grabbed a 4-3 lead with a three-run fourth but the hosts answered with two in the fifth and held on in the opener.

First baseman J.R. Hopf went 2 for 3 with two runs and a double to lead the Manatees' offense.

Derek Miller started and gave up three runs on three hits in 1.1 innings. Derrick Ellison went 2.2 hitless innings, but Zach Braddock (4-7) gave up two runs in two innings to absorb the loss.

In game two, Brevard County overcame a 2-1 deficit after the first inning with single tallies in the fifth and seventh to make a winner of Casey Baron (4-2), who worked two scoreless frames in relief of Amaury Rivas, who scattered seven hits and allowed two runs while striking out six in five innings.

Shortstop Brent Brewer went 2 for 4 and Hopf finished 2 for 3, including the game-deciding RBI single, bringing in Brewer, who had doubled to lead off the seventh. Third baseman Kenny Holmberg knocked in the other two runs, one as the third hit batter in the first inning and the second with a sacrifice fly in the fifth.

West Virginia

The Power lost their second straight home contest to Asheville, a 7-2 verdict, as the hosts' division lead over Lakewood slipped to 1.5 games with 11 contest remaining in the second half.

West Virginia slipped to 39-20 as the Tourists ripped starter Daniel Merklinger (7-9) for seven runs and eight hits in 2.1 innings, while Roque Mercedes, Mike Ramlow and Curtis Pasma combined for 6.2 scoreless frames.

Right fielder Caleb Gindl stayed hot, leading the offense with his 2 for 3 effort that included a solo homer, his 11th, in the seventh.

Helena

The Brewers' troubles continued as they dropped an 9-3 decision to Ogden to fall to 7-16 in the second half.

The visitors used a three-run first and four-run sixth to put the game away.

Cody Adams (3-4) started for Helena, giving up three earned runs and five hits in five innings despite striking out seven. Efrain Nieves tossed three innings of one-hit ball to finish after Santo Manzanillo was ripped for four runs on five hits in the sixth.

Catcher Michael Roberts was the only Helena batter


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