GRANVILLE, W.Va. - The West Virginia Black Bears defeated the Frederick Keys, 14-4, in a dominant display of offense at Monongalia County Ballpark on Tuesday evening. After scoring nine runs in the third inning and a season-high four home runs over the course of the evening, West Virginia cruised through
GRANVILLE, W.Va. - The West Virginia Black Bears defeated the Frederick Keys, 14-4, in a dominant display of offense at Monongalia County Ballpark on Tuesday evening. After scoring nine runs in the third inning and a season-high four home runs over the course of the evening, West Virginia cruised through the game on their way to first-place in the MLB Draft League.
Frederick came out swinging in the top of the first inning, scoring two runs off starting pitcher Peyton Alford, but the Black Bears were able to get on the board with a home run driven deep to right field by CF Garret Spain. The Keys scored one more run off West Virginia on a sacrifice out to bring the score to 3-1 heading into the third inning.
In the bottom of the third, however, the Bears bit back. The inning started with a single and a stolen base by SS Jeron Williams. 3B Freylin Minyety hit an RBI double to bring home Williams and cut the lead to 3-2. Then a two-run home run launched to center field by 1B Ryan McCoy blew the doors wide open on the Keys’ defense and gave West Virginia a lead they never lost. DH Max Wright advanced on a hit to center field, followed by an error that gave LF Kyle Hess a chance to cross home plate. The following play, RF Grant Hussey also notched an RBI double that scored Wright from second, and Spain earned his third RBI of the night with a single that scored Hussey and 2B Jake Reinhardt. The long inning for the Keys’ pitchers finally ended after another two runs were scored off Minyety’s single, as West Virginia took a commanding 10-3 lead.
The Black Bears’ bats did not cool in the fourth, and they tagged on three more runs in the bottom of the inning off two home runs. After a triple to center field by McCoy, Hess crushed a two-run homer to left field. Hess, who went 2-for-5 in his Black Bears debut, gave the home team a nine-run lead with only one out. In his next at-bat, Hussey hit a deep ball to right field that sailed over the outfield wall to bring the score to 13-3 going into the fifth.
Though the Keys were able to score one more run in the fifth inning off RHP Mason Studstill, the Black Bears negated the run with one of their own in the sixth to keep the 10-run lead and end the game 14-4.
The Black Bears defense shined on the field this evening as they allowed only five hits through nine innings. West Virginia’s pitchers combined for a total of 13 SO, including closer Brett Hobbs’ 3 SO in the top of the ninth that ended the game.
With this win, West Virginia ties with the Trenton Thunder for the top spot in the MLB Draft League, pulling away from the Mahoning Valley Scrappers.
The Black Bears return for game 2 against the Keys on Wednesday, June 30, with first pitch set for 6:35 p.m.