Batavia Bests Black Bears in Extras
GRANVILLE, W. Va. - Kicking off the final home stand of the regular season, the West Virginia Black Bears fell short in extra innings to the Batavia Muckdogs 8-7.
Batavia came back from a two-run deficit in the ninth inning to force bonus baseball and steal the game on the road. The Black Bears now sit 1.5 games back of the Pinckney Division leaders with just six games left to play.
The Muckdogs got things started in the top of the second inning with a solo home run, but West Virginia was quick to respond. With the bases loaded in the third, LF Fernando Villegas blasted a three-run double to left field to put the home team up 3-1.
The visitors retook the lead the following inning thanks to a pair of singles that put Batavia ahead by one run.
Both offenses went quiet during the middle innings, until West Virginia broke things open in the bottom of the seventh. SS Victor Ngoepe tied the game on an infield single, and DH Blake Sabol put his team on top with a double to center field to give the home team a 5-4 lead.
RF Matt Fraizer added an insurance run in the eighth with an RBI single of his own to give the Black Bears a 6-4 lead with three outs to go in regulation.
That's when the away team tied up the game. An RBI triple and a wild pitch brought two baserunners home for the Muckdogs, knotting the game at 6-6 as the teams went into the tenth inning.
Batavia retook the lead in the top of the tenth thanks to a pair of West Virginia miscues. Another wild pitch and a controversial fielding error call gave the visitors a two-run cushion going into the bottom half of the inning.
The Black Bears battled in the final frame, but came up just short. 2B Cory Wood cut the deficit to one run on an RBI double, but West Virginia couldn't complete the comeback.
Both teams are back in action bright and early tomorrow morning, with first pitch scheduled for 10:00 a.m. at Monongalia County Ballpark. Fans are celebrating Education Day, as children from all across the region will flood the ballpark to see a pair of New York-Penn League contenders.
The final home game of the regular season follows on Friday night with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m. For information on ticketing and promotions, visit www.westvirginiablackbears.com.
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