GRANVILLE, W.Va. – In the last regular season game at Monongalia County Ballpark, the West Virginia Black Bears took the game and the series from the Frederick Keys in a 6-3 win on Thursday night. The Bears, who scored in four consecutive innings, solidified their win over the Keys with
GRANVILLE, W.Va. – In the last regular season game at Monongalia County Ballpark, the West Virginia Black Bears took the game and the series from the Frederick Keys in a 6-3 win on Thursday night. The Bears, who scored in four consecutive innings, solidified their win over the Keys with back-to-back home runs in the fourth by Turner Hill and Maddux Houghton. Starting pitcher Patrick Miner completed eight innings of work with seven strikeouts in his longest outing this season.
West Virginia hopped on the board in each of the first three innings to take an early 3-0 lead. In the bottom of the first, the Bears scored on a sacrifice fly by 1B Logan Mathieu that brought home LF Turner Hill. An inning later, a single by SS Tyler Bosetti plated RF Tremaine Spears, who advanced to third on a stolen base. Then, in the bottom of the third, an RBI single by 2B Jovante Dorris scored DH Adan Fernandez for the third run of the game.
The Black Bears emphatically added to their lead with back-to-back home runs in the bottom of the fourth. On the first offering by Keys reliever Sergio Ramirez, Hill notched his first home run of the season on a long ball that cleared the West Virginia bullpen. The next at-bat, CF Maddux Houghton hammered a ball over the left field wall for the second Black Bears home run of the inning. The Keys ended the scoring run on a groundout to first base, trailing 5-0 after four.
Frederick finally found its way across home plate with a solo shot in the top of the fifth by RF Caleb Upshaw. The deep ball cleared the center field wall and the visiting bullpen for the first Keys run of the game.
However, West Virginia erased the Frederick run an inning later as Hill made it home on an error by Plastiak in the bottom of the sixth. After stealing second, Hill advanced home on a fielding error by the Keys third baseman looking for the easy out at first. Heading into the seventh inning, West Virginia led Frederick 6-1.
The Keys plated two more runs in the top of the eighth and ninth innings on a single by Plastiak that scored CF Amir Wright and an RBI groundout by Matt Oldham that scored Upshaw, respectively, but they were unable to overcome the Black Bears lead.
Starting pitcher Patrick Miner wrapped up eight strong innings in his longest mound appearance for West Virginia. Miner finished his evening with two runs on nine hits and seven strikeouts. Offensively, Turner Hill and Maddux Houghton generated momentum for the Black Bears with their two mid-game home runs. Hill, who continues to lead the MLB Draft League in batting average and on-base percentage, went two-for-four at the plate with three runs and one RBI. Houghton picked up his fourth home run of the year with his solo shot, finishing the game with two hits, one run and one RBI.
West Virginia ends its regular season home games with a 47-28 record, having won six of the last nine series at home and tying a four-game set with the Keys. The Black Bears finish the last three games on the road at Eastwood Field as they take on the Mahoning Valley Scrappers beginning Friday, September 2.
The Black Bears return for the MLB Draft League Championship Game on Tuesday, September 6, where they will play the team with the best winning percentage the second half of the season. First pitch for the Championship Game is set for 6:35 p.m., with a “Happy Hour” beginning at 5:30 and concessions and merchandise specials all evening. For more information and tickets to the MLB Draft League Championship, please click here.