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Link Report for Thurs. 9/13 -- Young Devil Rays End Power Season, Tie Up Huntsville

Mass Haas

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First off, as we learned Wednesday, there will be a live video feed of the two Huntsville games in Montgomery, meaning last night's and tonight's.

At this link, you can relive Wednesday's great win at the link, the production work is surprisingly good --


For instance, you can go to Brendan Katin's exciting go-ahead blast at the two hour, six minute mark.

So, with the big-league boys off tonight (yeah, Cubs-Astros, I know), tonight seems like the perfect opportunity for many of you to see the AA kids live.

To be fair to Voice of the Stars Brett Pollock, who does a fine job, I suggest pulling up this video and then see if the audio synch's up OK from the Stars site. Then you have the best of both worlds!

And of course, don't forget about Andy "Bull" Barch with the Power broadcast, which begins an hour before the Stars' game.

OK, got it?

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Huntsville: RHP Corey Thurman at Montgomery (Devil Rays), 6:50 PM pre-game, 7:05 gametime; Game Two of a Best-of-Five for the Southern League Championship; Stars up, 1-0


Audio link:



West Virginia: RHP Donovan Hand at Columbus (Devil Rays), 5:45 PM pre-game; 6:00 gametime; Game Three of a Best-of-Five for the South Atlantic League Championship, Catfish lead, 2-0


Audio link (game will also archive at this link):


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Follow Wednesday's action as it happens:

Here's what you do, right click on each of the links below and choose "Open in New Window". Choose "Log". While you're listening to your minor league game of choice (or watching/listening to the big league Crew when they are playing), simply refresh your game log browsers every so often.






West Virginia:



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Power backed against a wall

Christopher Wade

For the Charleston Daily Mail


Even though their task appears daunting, confidence has never been a problem for the West Virginia Power players and coaches.

That's not about to change now despite the fact that the Power lost both home games to the Columbus Catfish and trails 0-2 in the South Atlantic League Championship Series.

In order to win its first SAL championship since 1990, the Power will have to go on the road and defeat the Catfish three consecutive times in Columbus. The Power is 1-5 against the Catfish this season.

"If there is one team that can do it, it's us," said Power hitting coach Corey Hart. "If the Red Sox can come back from 3-0 against the New York Yankees, we can come back from 2-0 against the Columbus Catfish."

"I think right now our mentality is we have nothing to lose and we are going to just go out and give it our best," said Power Manager Mike Guerrero. "We have a good bunch of guys and the ability to come back. It can happen."

The Power will get its first opportunity tonight when it faces the Catfish in Columbus (GA) at 7:00 PM (6:00 Central). Games four and five, if necessary, will be Friday and Saturday.

The Catfish pitching staff has limited the Power to only four runs over the first two games and will be sending Jeremy Hellickson to the mound with his solid 13-3 record and 2.54 earned run average. The Power will send Donovan Hand (1-2, 2.16 ERA).

Despite having a decisive advantage in the series and being just one win away from claiming the SAL title, Catfish Manager Jim Morrison is still very wary of the Power.

"We don't take anything for granted because the Power is an outstanding ball club and have great players," Morrison said. "But we expect a lot out of Jeremy (Hellickson) and he gives us a chance to win every game as good and competitive as he is."

Hellickson is very excited about the opportunity to help lead his team to the championship but is also aware that even though the Catfish staff has shut down the Power this season, he is facing the top hitting team in the SAL.

"I will, and we all will be a little nervous with it being the clinching game," Hellickson said. "But still, we are very excited to be in the position we are in. Hopefully, we will play like we have the last two games.

"I'm hoping to bring us a championship but I'm going to take it like any other game. I'm just going to have to do what I have to do. They are a great offensive club and I'll have to pitch one of my better games."

If the Power has any chance, they will need to get their usually high-powered offense to come through. Hart thinks the players are letting the magnitude of the series get the best of them.

"I think we are just trying to do too much at times," Hart said, "A lot of the times, good pitching beats good hitting but we've had opportunities and haven't been able to take advantage of them."

Making matters worse for the Power offense is that their and the league's top hitter, Andrew LeFave, missed the final five games of the regular season and the entire playoffs. He was put on the disabled list Tuesday, officially ending his season with a wrist injury.

"It's killing me for the team to be playing so well and come so far and now not being able to be out there and help my team," LeFave said. "I'm a competitor and it's been very tough mentally. But if there is any team that can come back, it's us."

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Power needs clutch performance - three, in fact

By Mike Whiteford

Charleston Gazette Staff writer


In a short series with a championship at stake, Power manager Mike Guerrero noted, unpredictability often intrudes.


The most important factors in a short series, Guerrero added, are pitching, defense and situational hitting. And as the Power tries to stay alive in the best-of-five South Atlantic League championship series against the Columbus Catfish, the team's situational hitting has fallen short.


After scoring a total of just four runs and losing the series' first two games at Appalachian Power Park Monday and Tuesday, the Power on Wednesday spent 11 hours on a bus en route to Columbus, Ga., where it faces the Catfish at 7:00 PM today (6:00 Central). Games four and five, if necessary, are set for Friday and Saturday in Columbus.


The Power, which led the SAL in hitting and runs scored during the regular season, has produced just 13 hits in the two games and, as Guerrero pointed out, the team's situational hitting has been lacking.


In a 5-2 loss in Monday's opening game, the Power grounded into two double plays, including one with the bases loaded and none out.


In Tuesday's second game - another 5-2 loss - the Power stranded four runners in scoring position. In the two games, the Power has collected just three extra-base hits.


"Sometimes it happens and sometimes it doesn't happen,'' Guerrero said Wednesday morning before boarding a bus to Columbus, Ga.

"Especially in a short series like this, you have to play fundamentally sound baseball.''


After Tuesday night's loss, Guerrero addressed his players.


"If there's a team that can come back, it's us,'' he told the team. "We're going to give it our best. We're going there and expect to win three out of three.''


Guerrero didn't detect any sense of resignation among his players.


"I think the guys were the same as they were all year,'' he said. "There wasn't any change at all. Everyone on this team knows we haven't played our best baseball.''


The Catfish, a Tampa Bay affiliate, can attribute their 2-0 series lead to pitching, which ranked second in the SAL with a 3.61 ERA. In tonight's game, they will start 21-year-old right-hander Jeremy Hellickson, who consistently throws in the mid-90s and finished the regular season at 13-3 and 2.67. Opposing hitters batted just .214 against him.


Hellickson pitched the clinching victory in the Southern Division series, a 7-1 win over Augusta, allowing just one run and four hits in six innings.


Starting for the Power tonight will be right-hander Donovan Hand (1-2, 2.16), who joined the team six weeks ago and has contributed down the stretch. In Saturday night's clincher over Hickory in the Northern Division series, he allowed four runs and no walks in six innings in the 9-4 win. In his last start of the regular season, he yielded three hits and no earned runs against Lexington, but the Legends rallied against the bullpen for a 7-5 win.

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This article out of Columbus, GA, makes the following claim, which can't possibly be true, can it? No way...




If the Catfish clinch the series tonight, they would become the first affiliated, full-season team in minor league history to run the table in postseason play.

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Sadly, West Virginia's season is over, losing 6-0 to Columbus. D-Rays RHP prospect Jeremy Hellickson with another strong outing against the Power. Congrats to the Power for such a fine season. West Virginia fans can look forward to what should be another solid team next year, as they should inherit most to all of the Helena team that made the Pioneer League playoffs.


Huntsville loses as well tonight, although their series is now tied 1-1. Another top D-Rays pitching prospect, LHP Jacob McGee, shuts down the Stars offense. Mat Gamel in particular with a tough night, going 0-4 with 4 Ks.

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Final: Columbus (Devil Rays) 6, West Virginia 0


West Virginia Site Game Summary:



The Columbus Catfish used three home runs and great pitching to endure a one hour and fifty-four minute rain delay as they swept the West Virginia Power in the best of five series with a 6-0 victory to take the 2007 South Atlantic League Championship.


Matt Fields snapped a scoreless tie with a solo home run that cleared the batter's eye in the bottom of the fifth inning. Ryan Royster, who had been silent for most of the post-season, hit a three-run shot off the left-field foul pole in the bottom of the sixth inning. Cesar Suarez put the icing on the cake in the seventh with a three-run shot off the scoreboard in left to secure the victory.


Starting pitchers Donovan Hand and Jeremy Hellickson both tossed three scoreless innings before the rain delay. Hand allowed just a hit and walked two batters through three and Hellickson tossed three hitless frames, while issuing just one walk.


Wilton Noel (1-0) pitched three scoreless innings of two hit ball and got the win while Jared Sutton (0-1) was tagged with the loss after surrendering four runs on five hits over two and a third.


The loss extends West Virginia's losing streak in the championship round to nine games. The last time the franchise won a game in the championship round was in 1990, which was the last time they won the title. The victory for Columbus secured their first league championship since 1986.


West Virginia Box Score:



West Virginia Game Log:



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Power swept away

Columbus wins Sally League title


COLUMBUS, Ga. - The West Virginia Power could only manage four singles Thursday night as the Columbus Catfish claimed a 6-0 victory and a three-game sweep in the South Atlantic League championship.


The Power, which led the Sally League in batting and runs scored during the regular season, went down in order in five of the nine innings and hit into a pair of double plays in getting swept three straight in the best-of-five championship series. The Power only had 17 hits in the series.


Including the playoffs, the Catfish, a Tampa Bay Devil Rays affiliate, dominated the Power this season with six wins in seven meetings.

Columbus beat the Power 5-2 Monday and Tuesday at Appalachian Power Park to grab a 2-0 series lead.


Charleston baseball teams have lost nine straight in the Sally League championship series, getting swept in 1991, 1992 and 2007. The Charleston Wheelers won the Sally League title in 1990. Columbus secured its first league championship since 1986.


After a 1-hour, 54-minute rain delay Thursday, Columbus scored all of its runs with the long ball. The game was scoreless until the bottom of the fifth inning when Matt Fields led off with a solo round-tripper to center field that cleared the batter's eye for a 1-0 lead.


The Catfish went ahead 4-0 in the sixth on Ryan Royster's three-run shot off the left-field foul pole. Columbus completed the scoring in the seventh on Cesar Suarez's two-run homer to left off the scoreboard.


The Power had a few scoring chances, but couldn't cash in. After Matt LaPorta drew a one-out walk in the fourth, John Alonso's single put runners at first and second with two out. Kenny Holmberg followed with a single, but LaPorta was thrown out in a rundown between third base and home.


The Power's Stephen Chapman led off the eighth with a single, but was forced at second on Brent Brewer's grounder. Martin Maldonado followed with a double-play ground ball to end the inning.


In the ninth, the Power's Chuckie Caufield led off with a single and Caleb Gindl, who was called up to take Andrew Lefave's roster spot, walked. But LaPorta grounded into a double play and Taylor Green grounded out to end the series and the season.


Columbus starter Jeremy Hellickson tossed three hitless and scoreless innings and four relievers combined for six innings of shutout ball. Wilton Noel (1-0) earned the win with two hits and no runs in three innings.


Power starter Donovan Hand matched Hellickson, giving up one hit in three scoreless innings.


Jared Sutton (0-1) was tagged with the loss after allowing two of the three homers, surrendering four earned runs on five hits in 2 1/3 innings.

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The Columbus Ledger's coverage of their team's victory:




MiLB.com's coverage includes audio from the Power's Andy "Bull" Barch, who was naturally, less than enthusiastic:



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Final: Montgomery (Devil Rays) 2, Huntsville 1


Huntsville Site Game Summary:

Link, text follows --




Biscuits Ride Long Balls to Win in Game Two

Jake McGee tossed six solid innings and got three scoreless frames in relief from the bullpen to preserve Montgomery's 2-1 victory in game two of the Southern League Championship series Thursday night at Riverwalk Stadium. The series is even at a game apiece as the teams return to Joe Davis Stadium in Huntsville for the remainder of the set.


Nick DeBarr, who tossed a scoreless seventh inning, gave up a leadoff single to Alcides Escobar in the eighth that was followed by a Steve Sollmann sacrifice bunt. DeBarr got Adam Heether to pop out and was replaced by former major leaguer Tim Corcoran, who had cleared waivers and was reinstated to the Biscuits roster earlier in the day. The right-hander fanned Brendan Katin on three pitches to end the inning and retired the side in order in the ninth to earn his second post-season save. DeBarr gave up two hits and fanned one in his inning and two-thirds of scoreless work.


Corey Thurman stranded a runner at second base in the first two innings, retired the side in order in the third and set down the first two hitters in the fourth before Chris Nowak launched a 3-1 offering down the line in left field and over the wall for his second home run in as many games to get the home team on the board first for a second straight night. Thurman allowed 18 long balls during the regular season, second most of any pitcher in the league, and at least one in nine of his 12 regular season starts.


Lou Palmisano dumped a one-out single into right field in the fifth and scored on a two-out double down the left field line by Guilder Rodriguez, who picked up his first hit and first run batted in of the post-season. The Stars bid to take the lead was thwarted when Erold Andrus made a leaping catch of a Steve Moss fly ball at the wall in right field, his second such catch of the series. Fernando Perez singled with two outs in the home fifth, stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error by catcher Lou Palmisano but was stranded there when Josh Asanovich struck out to end the inning. Thurman was lifted after five frames, giving up a run on five hits and fanning eight, including a pair in four frames. He allowed only one run in 11 post-season innings.


David Johnson, who followed Thurman in the no-hitter over Tennessee in game 2 of the North Division playoffs with two scoreless frames, retired the first hitter he faced in the sixth before John Jaso hammered a home run to right field to put the Biscuits back in the lead. Johnson had not allowed a home run since July 26 and had given up a long ball in only three of 26 regular season appearances.


The series continues on Friday night with left-hander Derek Miller taking the hill for the Stars against Biscuits' right-hander Chris Mason, who led the league in wins and earned run average during the regular season. Coverage begins at 6:50 pm central time locally on SportsRadio 730 WUMP and through the internet at www.huntsvillestars.com.


Huntsville Box Score:

Steve Hammond, a likely Game Five starter, gets in some work...




Huntsville Game Log:



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Biscuits get cooking vs. Stars

Solo homers earn 2-1 victory in Montgomery, tie series at 1-all


Huntsville Times Sports Staff, markcolumn@aol.com


MONTGOMERY - Pretty simple analysis, really.


"We had a hard time keeping the ball in the ballpark," said Stars manager Don Money.


It applied to Thursday night, and can describe a problem as recurring and annoying as athlete's foot to the Stars.


Montgomery rode a pair of solo homers and some fantastic pitching to a 2-1 victory over Huntsville in Game 2 of the Southern League championship series.


The series is now tied, with Huntsville having won the opener 8-4 here Wednesday, during which Montgomery also had two homers.


With the start of the game delayed 27 minutes by rain, there was only an announced crowd of 1,825. The Biscuits, who have prided themselves on their promotional expertise, have now drawn three of the four smallest crowds in franchise history in their past three postseason games.


Montgomery had 10 homers in winning the title in four games against Huntsville a year ago, and all six of its runs this time have come on its homers.


Riverwalk Stadium is a smallish, quirky ballpark, a mere 314 down the line in left, 333 to right, to a wall that bulges like a beer belly back toward the infield.


"It's a home run park if you pull the ball," Money said.


Which the Biscuits did on both homers, by Chris Nowak, to left in the fourth off Corey Thurman, by John Jaso, to right in the sixth off David Johnson.


The Stars managed eight hits, but were never able to muster anything substantial. Only once could they put the leadoff man aboard in an inning.


They combined to strike out 10 times against starter Jacob McGee and relievers Nick DeBarr and Tim Corcoran.


"They did a good job," Money said, "but we can't stand there and take as many pitches as we did."


Now, they must face the Montgomery ace, Chris Mason (15-4, 2.57 ERA) tonight in Huntsville, with another lefty, Mike Prochaska, awaiting in Saturday's Game 4.


"That's why this game was especially important," Money said.


Maybe they'll get help from Mayor Loretta Spencer. She'll present Money and team general manager Tom Van Schaack a "lucky charm" today at 1 p.m.


If she could advance a runner, she might be a little more helpful.


In what one might suspect was Corey Thurman's last game in a distinguished two years in Huntsville, he allowed only five hits, including Nowak's homer, and struck out eight in five innings. Thurman, who turns 29 in November, finished the season wonderfully, with six innings of no-hit work last Friday.


After Nowak's homer, the Stars tied the game 1-1 in the fifth when Lou Palmisano shanked a little wedge shot into right. Guilder Rodriguez followed with a screamer down the third base line and into the left field corner, scoring Palmisano. But further damage was avoided when right fielder Erold Andrus stole a homer from Steve Moss.


John Jaso put the Biscuits ahead in the sixth with a towering homer off reliever David Johnson, then shortstop Alcides Escobar bailed him from further woes with an incredible diving snare of a grounder, flipping the ball from his gloved hand to Steve Sollmann to begin a double play.


Huntsville's last good chance came with two out in the sixth on back-to-back singles by Adam Heether and Brendan Katin, but Hernan Iribarren popped out. Corcoran, entering the game with one on, two out in the eighth, got the Stars in order, striking out three of four.


"We had our chances to win it," Money said. "We didn't have a lot of opportunities, but we could have won this game."

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David Weiser's






Huntsville's mayor Loretta Spencer has scheduled a news conference at Joe Davis Stadium, Friday at 1 pm........ I don't know what she plans on saying, but there has been stories this year in the Huntsville Times that have taken a hard focus on the attendance situation at games the past few years, speculating how long this franchise can exist with an aging stadium and widespread apathy for the team........ Each time, the question is raised whether the time has come to colloquially fish or cut bait (put new money into the stadium/devise financing for a new park or let the stadium rot and the team die)........ Times reporter Mark McCarter went to Midland (Miles Prentice's other minor league interest) to check out the fan interest there after the city voted on a quarter-cent tax hike to help pay for a new stadium. As a result, the Rockhounds have drawn an average of 4,095 fans this year -- which was still 9th in the league, but up for the third straight year...... If it rains tomorrow -- and that is a 100% certainty according to weathercasters, the news conference will be held in the press box on the 3rd floor along the 3rd base line. The Mayor's Office is inviting all Booster Club members to show up, so I beg of you to show up.

Rain threatened to wash away Game 2 tonight at Riverwalk Stadium, but it got underway at 7:32 pm........ The Biscuits made some roster changes before the game, placing catcher Josh Arhartt, who went 0-for-4 in Game 1, on the disabled list. Chris Lopez, who hit .230 in 94 games for Vero Beach, the Devil Rays' farm club in the Florida State League, takes his place on the roster........ The Biscuits also added pitcher Tim Corcoran (2-1, 3.44 in 14 relief appearances), who cleared waivers, to replace Jonathan Barrett, who was placed on the DL........ The Stars made one move when they released pitcher Jeff Housman to make room for right-hander Pat Ryan.

Jacob McGee and Corey Thurman battled each other for 3½ innings when the Biscuits' Chris Nowak did it again...... Nowak broke a scoreless deadlock with 2 out in the 4th by hitting a 3-1 offering from Corey Thurman high and far and just inside the left field foul line for a 1-0 lead, his 2nd in this series, the 19th home run off Thurman this year...... The Stars answered McGee, who had given up 3 hits through 4 innings, striking out 5, when Lou Palmisano singled to right and Guilder Rodriguez, with 2 out, picked on a curve from McGee and hit it softly inside the third base line, going all the way into the corner for a double, tying the game....... The Stars came close to taking the lead when Steve Moss hit a long drive to right, but Venezuelan right fielder Erold Andrus made a leaping catch at the 8-foot wall in right to rob him of a home run to end the top of the 5th.

Thurman, who's proven his toughness in the post-season for the past two seasons, threw 93 pitches in 5 innings, but struck out 8....... He finished strong, striking out Josh Asanovich with 2 out and Fernando Perez sitting on third after a stolen base and throwing error by Palmisano........ McGee got through six innings, but he had to battle out of the 6th after Adam Heether and Brendan Katin came through with back-to-back, two-out singles. That got Montgomery's bullpen up, but McGee got out of the inning when Hernan Iribarren popped out in back of short.

Dave Johnson, who came in for Thurman during the combined no-hitter last week, did so again in the bottom of the 6th......... Johnson, who pitched two no-hit innings for Thurman, this time wasn't as effective........ John Jaso, who had the league's 4th best average in August (.378), got hold of his 1-0 pitch and all Brendan Katin could do was watch it go over as Montgomery took the lead. Jaso's moon shot cleared the right field wall, giving the Biscuits a 2-1 lead for McGee....... McGee, who left the game after 83 pitches, gave way to Nick DeBarr, who had an 8.10 ERA in four relief appearances during the regular season.

In the bottom of the 7th, designated hitter Sergio Pedroza, a post-season addition, singled up the middle using Johnson's foot...... Patrick Cottrell, a good bunter, moved him into scoring position and Pedroza advanced to third on a chop by Andrus....... Fernando Perez took an intentional walk so the Stars could pitch to Asanovich with runners on the corners and two out....... I understand the strategy, but Asanovich hit .321 vs. the Stars this season, 3rd best on the team....... Johnson wound up walking him on four pitches to load the bases...... He was outta there with Reid Brignac (a modest .250 hitter against the Stars) at the plate....... Manager Don Money called in lefty Steve Hammond, who was shelled during the regular season by the Biscuits for 12 runs on 16 hits (including 3 HRs) in 9 2/3 innings....... Hammond got a visit from pitching coach Rich Sauveur when he went 2-and-0 on Brignac, but Brignac hit a broken-bat looper to Iribarren for the 3rd out........ The Stars escaped, still trailing by a run.

With Nick DeBarr on the hill for the Biscuits in the top of the 8th, Alcides Escobar led off with a short hit to center. Steve Sollmann sacrificed him to 2nd. But after Heether popped out to third, the newly-acquired Corcoran was called on to face Brendan Katin. Corcoran struck him out on an 0-2 curve...... Corcoran finished the game striking out 2 of the 3 hitters he faced to end the game, including Mat Gamel, who became the first Huntsville Star to strike out four times in a post-season game since Demond Smith in Game 4 of the Western Division Series in 1997 vs. Mobile....... That game was my pick as the greatest game of all time in my 20th anniversary list. You can click on it below for all the details.



If this game gets going Friday, Montgomery will send Southern League ERA and win leader Chris Mason (15-4, 2.57) against Derek Miller (6-2, 3.18)........ See you there!

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Power's season ends as Columbus sweeps its way to SAL title

Guy Curtright

For the Charleston Daily Mail


Columbus, Ga. -- On a rainy night in Georgia, the lights went out on the West Virginia Power's season.

The remnants of Hurricane Humberto caused a delay of nearly two hours, but that just delayed the agony.

A Charleston-based franchise has made it to the South Atlantic League Championship Series three times since the Wheelers won the title in 1990, but West Virginia fans are still waiting for a victory.

The Columbus Catfish completed the latest three-game sweep Thursday night, beating the Power 6-0 at soggy Golden Park.

West Virginia led the SAL in runs and batting average during the regular season, but the Power's bats went as dead as uncharged batteries against the Catfish.

Columbus limited the Power to 17 hits in the series, with just four -- all singles -- coming in the final game.

"We didn't swing it like we can," said West Virginia left fielder Matt LaPorta, Milwaukee's first-round draft choice in June.

"You've got to tip your cap to them. They played a great three games and really shut us down."

The long rain delay caused Columbus 13-game winner Jeremy Hellickson to leave after three no-hit innings, but West Virginia couldn't take advantage.

Meanwhile, the Catfish showed off their high-powered offense after West Virginia starter Donovan Hand departed following the delay.

Jared Sutton allowed a mammoth leadoff homer to center field by Matt Fields in the fourth inning and a three-run shot down the left-field line in the sixth by Ryan Royster, who led the SAL with 30 home runs during the regular season.

It got no better after Sutton left.

Cesar Suarez hit a long two-run homer off the scoreboard in left-center field against D.J. Lidyard in the seventh inning.

By the time the ninth inning rolled around, the Catfish mascot named Hook was on top of the home dugout with a broom and the remaining fans from the announced crowd of 1,317 were chanting "Sweep! Sweep! Sweep!"

Soon "We are the Champions" was blaring over the PA system, followed by "Let's Celebrate."

Columbus didn't lose a game in the postseason, beating Augusta 11-2 and 7-1 in the best-of-three semifinals. It then outscored West Virginia 16-4. None of the playoff games was really in doubt.

"Outstanding pitching," Columbus manager Jim Morrison said. "I can promise you we do have that."

The championship was the first for Columbus since a Class AA Southern League title in 1986.

In 2002, the city reached the SAL Championship Series before losing to Hickory.

"It was an outstanding job by these guys," Morrison said.

"We played all year for this," Royster said. "Now we're going to celebrate."

Meanwhile, Power players sat dejectedly in the visiting dugout and looked on while the Catfish received the championship trophy from soon-to-retire SAL President John Henry Moss.

West Virginia thought it had scored a run in fourth inning, but LaPorta was tagged out after umpire Jeremy Crowe ruled he had missed home plate.

"I'm sure I stepped right on it," LaPorta said.

Manager Mike Guerrero argued, but to no avail.

It was that kind of championship series for the Power. Nothing went right. Columbus went into Game 3 with a 1.25 ERA in the postseason. It ended even lower.

Of West Virginia's 17 hits in the Championship Series, just three were for extra bases.

The Power had a memorable season, winning the first-half title in the North Division and advancing to the Championship Series from the North by beating Hickory in a deciding Game 3.

The end, though, was one to forget. "This isn't the way we wanted everything to end," LaPorta said.

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