Morgantown, W.V. - Kendall Simmons homered in his second consecutive game but it wasn't enough for the Crosscutters in a 7-3 loss at West Virginia on Sunday afternoon. Williamsport (25-37) had its three-game win streak snapped.
Simmons crushed his 11th of the season on a shot in the third inning over a 20-foot section of the wall in left. He is second in the NYPL in home runs and now has nine homers in his last 18 games. Entering play on July 27, Simmons had only two home runs all season before his long-ball surge.
The Cutters committed four errors and fell to 0-5 in games in which the defense is assessed that many miscues.
Hunter Hearn was 2-for-4 with a double and a run scored. Nate Fassnacht added a double and a run while Nicolas Torres contributed an RBI single.
Bryson Stott was 0-for-2 with two walks thus ending his nine-game hitting streak.
Kyle Wilkie went 4-for-5 with a two-run double for West Virginia (34-27) who moved into first place in the Pinckney Division. Will Matthiessen was 3-for-4 with a two-run double.
Gabriel Yanez, Spencer Van Scoyoc (L, 3-3) and Brett Schulze all surrendered runs for the Crosscutters ending a string of three tremendous pitching performances with the staff allowing four hits or fewer.
The Black Bears opened the scoring against Yanez with a two-run double to left by Wilkie, the first of his four hits, plating Ethan Paul and Blake Sabol who had reached on a hit batsman and walk.
Williamsport had a good opportunity in the second with the bases loaded and nobody out when Logan O'Hoppe reached on a throwing error after a dropped third strike and then Rudy Rott was hit by a pitch followed by Hunter Hearn singling to become the third base-runner. But Nicolas Torres struck out and Mitch Edwards bounced into a double play to kill the potential rally.
The Cutters got to West Virginia starter Grant Ford in the third with a lead-off double by Fassnacht to left-center. Then Simmons unloaded on a 1-2 pitch lifted over the high-portion of the wall in left on top of the roof of building beyond the fence. His massive shot makes him one of only five Crosscutters to hit 11 or more home runs in a single season.
Simmons is now just three homers away from the all-time Crosscutters record of 14 in one season belted out by Jiandido Tromp in 2014.
West Virginia took the lead in the fourth after loading the bases against reliever Spencer Van Scoyoc with nobody out. A walk and then two singles set the table for Ethan Paul whose fly to left-center was deep enough for the tie-breaking run. But Van Scoyoc prevented further damage with a pop-out and ground out to end the rally.
The Black Bears scored two more in the fifth after Van Scoyoc was one strike away from ending the inning quickly. But Matt Frazier was hit by a pitch on a 1-2 count and Cory Wodd singled to right-center bringing up Matthiessen who rocked a double into the left-field corner for a 5-2 lead.
Two more runs came in for West Virginia in the seventh as a result of a pair of Crosscutters errors. Kyle Wilkie singled and then advanced to third when Matt Gorski reached following a high throw from third baseman Nate Fassnacht. A bad pick-off throw by Brett Schulze got away bringing in Wilkie and late Brett Kinneman would hit a ground-rule double bouncing over the fence in left for the Black Bears' seventh run of the matinee.
The Cutters closed the scoring in the top of the ninth with a double to the left-field corner by Hunter Hearn followed y a solid single to left for Nicolas Torres. After Mitch Edwards walked, the Cutters were only one more runner away from bringing the tying man up to the plate with would have been Simmons. But Nate Fassnacht popped out and Johan Rojas struck out thus preventing Williamsport from receiving that chance.
Williamsport closes the road-trip and plays its last game before the NYPL All-Star Break on Monday at 6:35 p.m. with RHP Adam Leverett the scheduled starter against the Black Bears.
- Williamsport is 4-9 against West Virginia with one more game remaining in the season-rivalry series.
- The Crosscutters are 15-10 in the second half of the season after going 10-27 in the first half.
- The Cutters have 13 games remaining in the regular season including eight in Williamsport.
- J.D. Orr of Batavia had two stolen bases against Mahoning Valley to pass Corbin Williams for the league-lead in steal.
- Simmons has hit home runs in consecutive games four different times this season. He has yet to hit homers in three straight.
- Crosscutters with 11 or more home runs in a season:
Jiandido Tromp, 14, 2014
Zach Green, 13, 2013
Walter (Junior) Young, 13, 2001
Cody Overbeck, 12, 2008
Kendall Simmons, 11, 2019
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.