West Virginia Responds in Extras
GRANVILLE, W. Va. - After dropping an extra innings game Wednesday night, the West Virginia Black Bears rebounded on Thursday afternoon to defeat the Batavia Muckdogs 5-4.
The teams played their second straight ten-inning game, as the Black Bears got back within a half game of the Pinckney Division lead.
West Virginia got the win in front of an excited crowd at Monongalia County Ballpark. The team hosted its first-ever Education Day, as elementary school students from across the region flooded the stands for the 10:05 a.m. start.
The Muckdogs picked up where they left off yesterday and put up some early runs. An RBI single in the second a double in the fourth gave the visitors a 2-0 advantage.
While the Black Bears sputtered offensively in the early going, the team got some much-needed help from its bullpen. RHP Francis Del Orbe kept Batavia off the board in his three innings of work, as he allowed just two hits to go with two strikeouts.
After the Muckdogs added a solo home run in the top of the eighth, West Virginia trailed 3-0.
Then in the bottom half of the inning, the Black Bears finally got on the board. LF Fernando Villegas brought home his team's first run on an RBI groundout to put the deficit to two runs.
With the game on the line in the ninth, a pair of solo home runs tied the game up for West Virginia. 2B Cory Wood cranked his second homer of the season to make it a one-run ballgame, and 1B Will Matthiessen knotted things up with his third bomb of the summer to send the game to extra innings.
Batavia managed to plate a run in the top of the tenth thanks to a sacrifice fly, which put the Black Bears in an all too familiar spot from the night before. This time, however, West Virginia responded with a pair of runs to win the game.
Villegas made his way home on a wild pitch that tied the game up, and Wood came through with the walk-off fielder's choice to keep his team well within striking distance of the Pinckney Division.
The final home game of the regular season takes place tomorrow evening at Monongalia County Ballpark. The night will also feature Double Stuffed Dave's final race of his career before his end of season retirement.
For more information on tomorrow's 7:05 p.m. matchup, visit www.westvirginiablackbears.com.
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