The postgame fireworks show was the only explosion Saturday at Linda K. Epling Stadium.
It certainly wasn’t the West Virginia Miners’ offense.
West Virginia managed only three hits in its home debut and fell 2-1 to the Champion City Kings, starting 0-3 for the first time in its five seasons.
The Miners have struggled offensively out of the gate. They have only 14 hits and have scored four runs through three games and are hitting a league-low .149.
“We hit maybe two balls hard the whole day,” Miners manager Tim Epling said. “This is our third game. By now I figured our timing (would be down) and we would be playing better than we have. It is what it is and the kids are going to have to figure it out for themselves.”
West Virginia took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first when Rob Youngblood walked with the bases loaded and one out. But Paul Trenhaile hit into an inning-ending double play.
Kings starter Matt Glasmann did not give up a hit in the inning and settled down after walking three batters. He wound up going five innings, striking out two and walking four.
The Miners helped out a bit with a couple of blunders.
Westyn Baylor led off the fourth with a single to left for the Miners’ first hit. With one out, Trenhaile hit a ground ball to second, but shortstop Leiff Clarkson dropped the force attempt and Baylor was safe.
However, Baylor, thinking he had been forced, began walking to the dugout and Clarkson tagged him for the second out. Alex McKeon walked but Eric Schanzenbacher grounded out to end the inning.
Champion City (3-1) scored both of its runs in the fifth.
After Tanner Reibenspies walked with one out, Trevor Kimm hit a comebacker to West Virginia starter Chase Boster. The right-hander fielded it cleanly, but his throw was too high for the 6-foot-5 Trenhaile at first. Reibenspies came all the way around to score and tie it at 1-1.
Kimm went to second and scored on Clarkson’s single to left.
“I thought there were some mental lapses out there that — you don’t even coach that,” Epling said. “I mean, I don’t understand. I think they are just playing a little bit tight and nervous.”
It was an otherwise good night for Boster (0-1). The Marshall product allowed only three hits over five innings, striking out four and walking three.
West Virginia tried to rally with two outs in the ninth.
Trenhaile singled to center, then beat out a force attempt after McKeon’s grounder to second.
Trenhaile then advanced to third on a passed ball, but Schanzenbacher swung through Nathan Suyematu’s 3-2 fastball to end it.
Suyematsu got a four-inning save. He gave up two hits, struck out three and didn’t walk a batter.
The teams meet again at 2:05 p.m. today.
“We’re just going to go out there and play,” Epling said. “I’m sure they want to win, but they’ve got to do it. They’re the ones that have got to do it. They’ve got to perform.”
Notes: Attendance for the home opener was 1,733 ... Quinton Yocom will start today for the Miners against Champion City’s Jacob Rodrigue.
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CCK: 000 020 000 — 2 5 2
WVM: 100 000 000 — 1 3 1
CCK: Matt Glasmann, Nathan Suyematsu (6) and Chris Freeman, WVM: Chase Boster, Dalton Thompson (6), Kolin Stanley (9) and Alex McKeon. WP — Glasmann. LP — Boster. Hitting — CCK: Trevor Kimm 1-4 (2b), Leiff Clarkson 1-5 (rbi), Trevor Lowe 1-4 (2b), Chris Perkovich 1-4, Freeman 1-3, WVM: Gavin Culler (run), Westyn Baylor 1-3, Rob Youngblood (rbi), Paul Trenhaile 1-4, McKeon 1-3.
Records: CCK: 3-1; WVM: 0-3.