West Virginia kept pace in the race for the South Atlantic League Northern Division pennant Wednesday, beating visiting Greensboro 7-6 at Appalachian Power Park.
The win, combined with Hagerstown's loss to Hickory, moves the Power (29-23) back into first place by a half game over the Suns. Hickory sits one game behind West Virginia in third place with Greensboro (26-26) in fourth.
West Virginia jumped out to an early lead with a five-run second inning. Francisco Aponte got the Power started with a two-run triple, followed by an Elias Diaz sacrifice fly to score Aponte.
Alen Hason walked and later scored on a Taylor Lewis double. Lewis scored on a Jose Osuna triple. After a third-inning run from Greensboro, the Power extended its lead back to five runs with another hit and run scored by Aponte in the fourth.
Greensboro flipped a switch at the plate in the fourth and fifth innings and got to West Virginia starting pitcher Mike Jefferson. With the bases loaded, Mike Smith leveled the score for the Grasshoppers with a three-run double. Smith was the last batter Jefferson faced as Joan Montero came in to finish the inning for the Power.
The Power bullpen was able to keep Greensboro off the scoreboard from that point with Montero, Robbie Kilcrease and Nathan Kilcrease combining to finish the game for West Virginia.
"Lately we've been throwing the ball well," Power manager Rick Sofield said. "Montero had a great outing, he's the star of the game to me. He comes in and throws three innings of pretty good baseball to make this possible. The Kilcreases have been outstanding for us all summer so once we give the ball to them we feel very confident."
The Power took the lead for good in the seventh inning when Hanson beat a throw and reached on an infield single that brought Junior Sosa in to score. Sofield said it was typical of what Hanson has done for West Virginia this season.