GRANVILLE, W. Va. – The West Virginia Black Bears ended Saturday night’s wild showdown with the Willamsport Crosscutters at Monongalia County Ballpark tied 8-8. This is the second consecutive game that the Black Bears have ended in a tie, moving to 0-2-2 in the newly formed MLB Draft League. West
GRANVILLE, W. Va. – The West Virginia Black Bears ended Saturday night’s wild showdown with the Willamsport Crosscutters at Monongalia County Ballpark tied 8-8. This is the second consecutive game that the Black Bears have ended in a tie, moving to 0-2-2 in the newly formed MLB Draft League. West Virginia tied their last game 5-5 with the Frederick Keys on Thursday evening prior to Friday’s rain cancellation.
Starting P Ga’von Wray and West Virginia’s defense began the game strong as they kept Williamsport off the board for the first two innings. Offensively, the Bears gained momentum in the second inning when an error committed by the Crosscutters advanced DH Cooper Swanson to third base. A bat-breaking single toward centerfield by 1B Ryan McCoy sent Swanson home and put the Black Bears up 1-0. The next at-bat, a single hit hard by 2B Jake Reinhardt sent Mccoy to third base after another error from Williamsport. A dropped pass by the Crosscutters catcher plated McCoy, putting the Black Bears up 2-0.
In the top of the third, the Black Bears committed a series of errors to put the Crosscutters in scoring position. By the end of the inning, West Virginia found themselves in a 3-2 deficit.
Two scoreless innings passed until the Black Bears’ managed to capitalize on their opponent’s inconsistent pitching. The first of several walks by Williamsport put Swanson DH Caleb Taylor on base. With two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning, a walk of RF Jesse Pierce loaded the bases -- until another walk of 3B Trey Romay sent Swanson home. Two more walks followed, bringing home both Taylor and Pierce. After another pitching change from the Crosscutters, a single from C Tucker Mitchell scored Romay and CF Amari Bartee before the Black Bears received their final strikeout. West Virginia ended the inning leading 7-3. The Black Bears earned another run during the seventh inning when a single from Taylor brought Reinhardt home, bringing the score to 8-3.
The lead was not to last, however, as the Crosscutters battled back in the top of the eighth inning. Five runs were added over the course of the inning, as relievers Jay Schueler and Trevor Tietz struggled to control Williamsport’s offense. The Black Bears ended the inning 8-8 and were unable to score again over the next two half innings.
In his Black Bears debut, P Carlos Lomeli had a successful night on the mound. Lomeli led the team through three scoreless innings and allowed only one hit with five strikeouts.
West Virginia will conclude this weekend’s series against Williamsport on Sunday afternoon. First pitch is scheduled for 4:05 p.m.