Granville, WV - After enduring a twenty-minute rain delay and an extra inning of play, the Black Bears suffer a tough loss with an 8-7 comeback from the Doubledays at the Monongalia County Ballpark.
The Black Bears began the evening with a solid outing from starting pitcher RHP Will Kobos through the first inning. A three-run home run by Auburn in the top of the second inning put the Doubledays on the board, but the Black Bears hunkered down and stopped the Doubledays from doing further damage with spectacular defense resulting in five scoreless innings in a row for Auburn.
"I think we saw some good things out of our team today," said CF Blake Sabol. "We had a lot of guys with really hot bats today, so hopefully we can carry that into the rest of the series."
The Black Bears' offense kept the pressure on, only taking 1-2-3 frames in the first and sixth and put up 12 hits in seven innings, including a two-run homer by Sabol who was three for five at the plate with four RBIs. West Virginia brought in seven runs in those 12 hits, taking the score to 7-3 in the seventh.
"Anytime you get double digit hits it's a pretty good night," said Black Bears manager, Drew Saylor. "I think we're all really encouraged about where we're at offensively."
After their dry spell, Auburn came in and scored two runs in the eighth and a two-run homerun in the ninth tying up the score at 7-7 off of RHP Noe Toribio who was replaced with RHP Mike LoPresti . LoPresti closed out the ninth before Auburn could lengthen their lead. The Black Bears could not find a run in the home-half of the ninth and the game plunged into extra innings.
In the tenth, the Doubledays bat a run home giving them their first lead since the fifth inning. With West Virginia stopping their onslaught short, the score was 8-7 after the top.
In the home-half, the Black Bears took an aggressive stance, attempting to push Auburn's limits, but the Doubledays held fast and shut down the West Virginia runners.
"I was too aggressive in a lot of respects, and for me it's just a learning moment," said Saylor. "There's going to be heartbreaking losses in everyone's career, but I'm really encouraged with how our guys continue to endure."
The Black Bears will continue their series versus the Doubledays this evening and Tuesday at 6:35 p.m., and then host the Aberdeen Ironbirds for another three-game series starting Wednesday to close out the six-game home stand.
For more information or to purchase tickets, call (304) 293-7653 or visit www.westvirginiablackbears.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.