Black Bears Sweep Spikes in State College

West Virginia winners in six of last seven games

By Joey White / West Virginia Black Bears | August 31, 2018 11:06 PM

GAME ONE

 

Granville, W. Va. - Kicking off the last road series of the 2018 season, the West Virginia Black Bears defeated the State College Spikes 13-3.

 

The Black Bears poured in 15 hits in the game, with five players picking up multiple hits.

 

Things got started in the top of the first inning with 3B Mike Gretler. The first-year pro out of Oregon State cranked a two-run homer to take an early lead.

 

The Spikes responded in the bottom of the first with a two-RBI double to tie the score at 2-2.

 

To lead off the second inning, LF Edison Lantigua put West Virginia back on top. The Pirates prospect blasted a solo home run to retake the lead, and kick of his historic evening.

 

The Black Bears extended the lead in the top of the third with four more runs. RF Brett Kinneman brought two runs around on a deep triple, followed by an RBI single from Gretler and a double from Lantigua to give the visitors a 7-2 lead.

 

Kinneman teed off again in the fourth inning, this time with a two-run homer to build a seven-run lead. He finished the day hitting 3-5 with three RBIs.

 

State College tried to work its way back into the game in the bottom of the sixth with a solo home run, putting the score at 9-3.

 

Even so, West Virginia wouldn't let the Spikes back into the game. 2B Kyle Watson continued the scoring in the top of the seventh inning with an RBI single.

 

The Black Bears capped off the game with three more runs in the ninth inning. Lantigua brought two runs across with a triple, and C Grant Koch scored West Virginia's thirteenth run on a sac fly to put the score at 13-3.

 

Lantigua went 4-5 in the game with five RBIs, hitting for the cycle in the process. It marked the first time in Black Bears history that a player completed the cycle since the team was established in 2015.

 

 

GAME TWO

 

The West Virginia Black Bears pulled out another win in game two, defeating the State College Spikes 5-3.

 

The win eliminated the State College from playoff contention, as the Spikes were fighting for a Wild Card spot.

 

RF Brett Kinneman continued his hot series for West Virginia by driving home a pair of runs. An RBI triple in the third inning and a single in the fifth put the visitors up 2-0 in the early going.

 

LF Daniel Amaral also pitched in with a triple of his own to score two more runs and build a four-run lead.

 

State College responded in the bottom of the fifth to cut the lead in half. An RBI single and a wild pitch brought the score to 4-2 after five innings of baseball.

 

The Black Bears got an insurance run in the top of the eighth thanks to a Spikes miscue. A throwing error from the home team's catcher brought in another run for West Virginia as the team took a three-run lead into the ninth inning.

 

In the bottom of the ninth, State College made things interesting. And RBI groundout made it a two-run game with two outs, but P Conner Loeprich shut things down to get his sixth save of the season.

 

GAME THREE

 

In the series finale, the West Virginia Black Bears completed the sweep by defeating the State College Spikes 7-2.

 

West Virginia is riding one of the team's best hot streaks this season, picking up victories in six of the last seven games.

 

The Black Bears exploded out of the gate once again, scoring all of their runs in the first three innings. 3B Mike Gretler opened things up in the top of the first with a two-RBI double to give his team an early lead.

 

Then in the top of the second, West Virginia got three more runs. C Grant Koch cracked a single to score a run, another runner came home on a wild pitch, and RF Brett Kinneman drew a walk with the bases loaded to bring the score to 5-0.

 

1B Kyle Watson and CF Fabricio Macias each contributed and RBI single in the third inning, as West Virginia took a commanding 7-0 lead.

 

P Brad Case got the start for the Black Bears and came through with his first win as a member of the Pirates' New York-Penn League affiliate. The righty tossed five innings three-hit baseball, surrendering two runs with only one of those earned.

 

The Spikes scored on a pair of sac flies in the third and fifth inning to put the score at 7-2, but couldn't muster anything in the final four innings to start a comeback.

 

West Virginia hosts its final series of the 2018 season this weekend against the Mahoning Valley Scrappers, with first pitch for tomorrow's game scheduled for 7:05 p.m.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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