Black Bears Stun Cutters in Late Comeback

By Bob Rotruck | August 9, 2019 10:59 PM

Morgantown, W.V. - The West Virginia Black Bears rallied for the last six runs of the game in the seventh and ninth innings to overcome a 5-0 Cutters lead in a stunning 6-5 decision on Friday night. The Cutters appeared to be in good shape with a 5-0 lead at the seventh-inning stretch but West Virginia scored three in the seventh and three in the ninth for the walk-off triumph. It is the second time this season the Black Bears have scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth to come from behind against Williamsport.

A fielder's choice grounder provided the winning run for the Black Bears when Williamsport's effort for a double play fell short.

Kendall Simmons was 3-for-5 with a double, RBI and run scored. Bryson Stott went 2-for-4 with an RBI double. And Nate Fassnacht kept up his hot hitting with a 2-for-4 game including a two-run double.

Jake Holmes had a nice game as well going 2-for-2 with two walks and two stolen bases and one run scored.

Erik Miller (ND) had his best outing as a Crosscutter going four innings in the start while striking out a career-high seven batters allowing just three hits and no runs. 

The Cutters broke a 0-0 tie in the fourth with three runs against Michael Burrows. Fassnacht's blast to deep center brought home Logan O'Hoppe who had walked and Rudy Rott who had singled. A couple batters later Jake Holmes knocked an RBI single to right-center to plate Fassnacht for a 3-0 lead.

Erik Miller made way for Jose Conopoima who struck out the side in the fifth, just as Miller had done in the first. 

Williamsport stretched the advantage to 5-0 in the seventh with Simmons knocking a double to left-center to bring in Jake Holmes who had walked and then stolen second. Stott crushed a drive to deep center that bounced off the warning track and trampolined over the wall at the 400 foot sign for a ground-rule double to bring home Simmons for a 5-0 advantage.

But West Virginia got to Conopoima in the seventh with a couple hard-hit balls. Nick Patten rapped a double to the left-field corner after Ethan Paul had drawn a walk. The first run came home on a ground out and then Dean Lockery's fly to left-center went for a triple to plate Patten as Cutters center fielder Corbin Williams just missed a spectacular grab on his diving effort. Jared Triolo capped the scoring in the inning on a double to left-center to trim the Cutters lead to 5-3.

Conopoima took the hill for his fifth inning of work in efforts to close it out but the Black Bears weren't done.

Nick Patten hit a solo homer to open the last-ditch rally. Then Dean Lockery's RBI double against Rafael Carvajal tied the game. After a couple intentional walks to load the bases, Matt Gorski brought in the winning run when the Williamsport infielders were unable to turn the inning-ending double play in time. 

Williamsport has lost five straight on the other side of the team's six-game winning streak.

The Cutters wrap up the series at West Virginia on Saturday at 7:05 p.m. with RHP Hsin-Chieh Lin starting. The Cutters return to BB&T Ballpark on Sunday at 5:05 p.m. against the State College Spikes featuring the annual appearance of the Phillie Phantic.

Cutters Carvings:

- West Virginia also scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth against Williamsport on June 30 in a 3-2 win.

- Rafael Carvajal's shutout streak ended at 15 innings. It was the first earned run he had allowed since July 5 vs. WV.

- Jake Holmes had a pair of hits and is 5-for-8 in his last 3 games.

- Nate Fassnacht had two more hits and is 7-for-15 in his last 5 games.

- Bryson Stott is 11-for-28 (.393) in his last 8 games. 

- The Cutters are 1-5 in Morgantown this season.

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

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