Black Bears Lose in Gutsy Extra-Innings Battle
GRANVILLE, W. Va. - Despite a fierce comeback to push the game to extra innings, the West Virginia Black Bears lost to the Williamsport Crosscutters 8-7.
The Black Bears overcame a 7-run deficit in the top of the sixth inning to bring the game into the tenth frame. The eventual loss gave the visiting Crosscutters the series win, as the New York-Penn League prepares for the All-Star Break.
West Virginia also celebrated its five-year anniversary as the Pittsburgh Pirates' Short Season Single-A affiliate. The team auctioned off signed memorabilia from Pirates greats and formers Black Bears throughout the course of the evening.
Williamsport jumped out to an early lead with three runs in the first two innings. A two-run homer and an RBI double gave the away team the 3-0 advantage.
After a bases clearing double in the fourth and an RBI single in the sixth, the Crosscutters took a commanding 7-0 lead at Monongalia County Ballpark.
From that point on, West Virginia went on a scoring tear. RF Blake Sabol opened the flood gates with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the sixth, and C Kyle Wilkie followed up with an RBI double to cut the deficit to five runs.
3B Jared Triolo added his contribution in the seventh inning on a two-run single to left field to put the score at 7-4.
The Black Bears continued to chip away in the lead in the eighth thanks to CF Brett Kinneman. His RBI groundout put the home team within two runs of Williamsport heading into the final inning.
With the West Virginia bats hot, a pair of bullpen arms did their part to keep the Crosscutters off the board. All-Star RHP Cameron Junker gave his team a scoreless seventh inning, and RHP Xavier Concepcion used his electric fastball to retire the visitors in the last two regulation frames.
Then in the bottom of the ninth, the Black Bears knotted things up a seven apiece. Wilkie brought in his second run of the night on a single to center field, and Kinneman tied things up on another RBI groundout to send the game into the tenth inning.
West Virginia ended the night with fourteen hits, compared to twelve from Williamsport. Eleven of those fourteen hits game in the final five innings of the contest.
Despite the gutsy effort from the home team, the Crosscutters retook the lead in the top of the tenth. An RBI double brought in the game winning run, as the Black Bears were unable to bring one across in the bottom half.
The Black Bears sport a 34-28 record, as the team heads into the All-Star Break well within playoff contention.
The Black Bears have four players participating in the New York-Penn League All-Star Game: RHP Cameron Junker, RHP Jesus Valles, INF Jared Triolo, and OF Blake Sabol. The game will take place in Staten Island on Wednesday Night, with first pitch scheduled for 7:00 p.m.
For information on tickets and promotions for the remainder of the regular season, visit www.westvirginiablackbears.com.
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