The West Virginia Black Bears are proud to announce David Carpenter will return in his role as manager for the 2024 season. The former big leaguer and Fairmont, West Virginia, native joins the Bears for his second season after leading the team to an MLB Draft League title in 2023.
“We’re very excited to have [Carpenter] back this season,” said General Manager Leighann Sainato. “David set the bar high by winning a championship in his first year as manager, but he was just as successful as a mentor to our young players. We’re looking forward to another great summer at The Mon.”
Carpenter begins the season at home on Tuesday, June 4, as West Virginia hosts the Frederick Keys for Opening Day at Monongalia County Ballpark. The reigning champions open with a three-game set against the Keys before hitting the road for a weekend series at the State College Spikes.
“Coming back for my second season is an exciting challenge especially after winning the title,” said Carpenter. “Last year I was a first-time manager, and I was learning how things are run from an on-field perspective as a professional coach. I think there are things we can do better just by experiencing it again.”
In his first year, Carpenter led the team to a 46-27 record, finishing 5.0 games ahead of the second-place Trenton Thunder. West Virginia captured its second straight championship in a dominant 9-4 win over Trenton last September. Additionally, five players were selected from Carpenter’s team in the 2023 MLB Draft, including third-round pick Devin Saltiban and former West Virginia University closer Carlson Reed, with nine more signing with major league teams as free agents.
“Because you get a new team of guys every year, as a manager, you have to find ways to bring them together and help showcase their talent,” Carpenter said. “Championships are great, but the goal is getting these guys exposure and preparing them to succeed at the professional level.”
Carpenter, 38, spent fourteen years playing professionally after being drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 12th round of the 2006 MLB Draft. The former Mountaineer catcher made his transition to pitcher after two seasons with the Cardinals organization, and he made his major league debut in 2011 for the Houston Astros. Over the course of his career, Carpenter took the mound for the Astros, Toronto Blue Jays, Atlanta Braves, New York Yankees, and Washington Nationals.
The West Virginia Black Bears begin their season at home against the Frederick Keys on Tuesday, June 4. Opening Day features the first fireworks show of the season sponsored by WVU Medicine, along with a 2024 magnet schedule giveaway. Information on promotions and tickets will be released closer to the season.