The West Virginia Power concluded the 2007 regular season on Monday afternoon at Appalachian Power Park with a 10-4 victory over the Greensboro Grasshoppers to complete the three game sweep of the ‘Hoppers.
Matt LaPorta put West Virginia ahead in the first inning with a solo homerun, his tenth of the year in just 23 games with the Power. The Homerun extended his hitting streak to 14 games. Adam Howard’s sacrifice fly brought in Greensboro’s first run in the second inning to tie the game. The Power answered with a two-run homer from Steve Chapman in the bottom of the inning. It was the 24th of the season for Chapman, establishing a new franchise record. West Virginia plated three runs in the third. John Alonso singled into center field with Taylor Green on first base. The ball got past Scott Cousins in center field and allowed Green to score. Steve Chapman singled in John Alonso and Andy Bouchie doubled in the final run of the inning.
Howard struck for the ‘Hoppers again with a two-run homer in the fourth inning. Steve Chapman drove in his fourth run of the game on a groundout in the fifth inning. Justin Webb singled in Greensboro’s final run in the seventh. The Power pulled away with a three-run eighth inning. Jimmy Mojica singled in the first run, Chuckie Caufield reached on a fielder’s choice that brought in Bouchie and Mojica scored on Kenny Holmberg’s sacrifice fly.
J.T. King (8-2) pitched one scoreless inning of relief to get the victory. He was one of seven pitchers used by the Power during the regular season finale. Christhian Martinez (9-5) was tagged with the loss after surrendering six runs on nine hits over three innings.
The Power improved to 82-54 overall and 34-34 in the second half, while the Grasshoppers fell to 71-69 overall and 33-37 in the second half. The Power finished the regular season with a .281 batting average, four points higher than their 2006 average which was a franchise record. Though he didn’t play in the regular season finale, Andrew Lefave finished the season with a .345 batting average, which is also a franchise record. Jason LaRue had the record, hitting .315 in 1997.
The Power will begin the first round of the playoffs at L.P. Frans Stadium against the Hickory Crawdads on Wednesday night. Right hander Alex Periard (7-7, 3.55) will start for the Power and the Crawdads will counter with right hander Mike Crotta (10-5, 4.39). First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 PM.