GRANVILLE, W. Va.- With a packed house at Monongalia County Ballpark, the West Virginia Black Bears came through in the clutch to defeat the Williamsport Crosscutters 6-5.
West Virginia came back from a five-run deficit to pick up the team's fifth straight win.
"(August) is the month that you start to see the separation between clubs," said Black Bears manager Drew Saylor. "More than anything else, this is just a tip of the cap to our guys for continuing to grind."
After a quiet start to the matchup, the visitors got things started in the top of the fourth. A double and a single brought home three runs to give Williamsport an early 3-0 lead.
LHP Trey McGough provided the Black Bears with a pair of quality innings after the early onslaught. The reliever didn't allow a run and surrendered only one hit to keep things close.
The Crosscutter lead ballooned to five runs in the seventh inning. Back-to-back doubles to the outfield gaps put the hometown team in a hole heading into the late innings.
Then in the bottom of the seventh, the offense came alive for West Virginia. CF Brett Kinneman got his team on the board with an RBI groundout, 2B Dean Lockery 's triple plated another run and 3B Jared Triolo cranked an RBI double to put the score at 5-3.
RHP Jacob Webb provided crucial relief for the Black Bears bullpen, allowing just two hits and one walk to go with three strikeouts in two innings of work.
Down two runs in the bottom of the ninth, West Virginia began the comeback on a 1B Nick Patten solo home run. From that moment on, the momentum began to swing in the home team's favor.
"When Patten hit his home run, you could feel the excitement with everyone," said Saylor. "That's what makes our home here a competitive advantage relative to the rest of the league- we have fans that are very passionate and knowledgeable about baseball."
After Kinneman walked to get on base, Lockery continued his sensational night with a double down the left field line to tie the game up 5-5.
The second baseman finished the game hitting 2-4 with two RBI's, and contributed in the field with a highlight play on a grounder off the pitcher's mound for perhaps the defensive play of the night.
After a groundout to advance Lockery to third base and a pair of intentional walks, it was RF Matt Gorski that drove in the game winning run. An RBI fielder's choice sealed the victory for the Black Bears, who sit one game back in the Wild Card.
West Virginia also continues to climb up the Pinckney Division ladder, trailing the Batavia Muckdogs by just one game.
The Black Bears close out their series with Williamsport tomorrow evening at Monongalia County Ballpark with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m. The team will celebrate Military Appreciation Night wearing alternate jerseys that will be auctioned off during the game to benefit Operation Welcome Home.
For more information on tickets and promotions, visit www.westvirginiablackbears.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.