Wilkie Shines in West Virginia Win
GRANVILLE, W. Va. - After struggling to put runs on the board in Saturday night's contest, the West Virginia Black Bears responded on Sunday with a 7-3 rout of the Williamsport Crosscutters.
The Black Bears took control of first place in the Pinckney Division with the win, as the Batavia Muckdogs fell in the first game of their doubleheader earlier in the afternoon.
C Kyle Wilkie got things started in the bottom of the first inning to put the home team on top. His two-run double was just the beginning of what would be an immaculate day for the West Virginia backstop.
Williamsport responded with a two-run homer in the top of the third, tying the game up at 2-2.
Then in the fourth, the Black Bears pulled ahead. SS Ethan Paul popped a sacrifice fly to centerfield to give his team a one-run lead. 1B Will Matthiessen followed that up with a two-RBI double in the fifth inning to put the score at 5-2.
While the offense built out a lead, the bullpen showed up once again for the Black Bears. LHP Trey McGough tossed two and one-third innings of hitless baseball and picked up one strikeout.
RHP Jesus Valles followed him up with a rare bullpen appearance. The electric Venezuelan threw a perfect inning of his own to silence the Crosscutters at the dish.
West Virginia tacked on two more insurance runs in the bottom of the seventh on a throwing error and a ground-rule double from CF Brett Kinneman to build a five-run lead.
In total, the Black Bears raked 13 hits to score seven runs. Wilkie had the hottest bat in the dugout, as he finished the day 5-for-5 with two RBIs to bring his average up to.271 on the season.
"Anytime you can go five-for-five, that's always fun. I can't remember the last time I did that, said Wilkie. "It feels good when you put together a plan and it all comes together."
Williamsport got one run in the bottom of the ninth on an RBI single, but it wasn't enough as West Virginia sealed the win and climbed to first place in the Pinckney Division.
Both teams are back at it tomorrow night at Monongalia County Ballpark, with first pitch scheduled for 6:35 p.m. West Virginia will be celebrating the team's five-year anniversary by running auctions, raffles and giveaways throughout the game.
For more information on tickets and promotions, visit www.westvirginiablackbears.com.
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