GRANVILLE, W.Va. – The West Virginia Black Bears defeated the Williamsport Crosscutter 13-5 at Monongalia County Ballpark on Sunday afternoon. In the final home game of the season, the Black Bears took an early lead and never lost it. Brady Tedesco picked up his sixth win of the season, ending his career at home with eight strikeouts through six innings pitched.
Building upon last night’s offensive momentum, West Virginia struck early with a run in the first. Manny Vorhees recorded the first RBI of the game with a fly-ball single that scored Ben McClain for a 1-0 lead.
After two scoreless innings, the Black Bears added two more runs in the bottom of the fourth. With two runners on, a single from Noah Lucier that was bobbled by Williamsport’s Jose Gonzalez scored Anthony Hansen and Harold Torres. Heading into the fifth, West Virginia led by three.
But the Crosscutters knotted the game the next inning with one well-hit ball. The Cutters put two runners on with back-to-back singles from Brayland Skinner and Tyler Lasch. The next at-bat, Adam Becker sent a fly ball deep to center field and over the outfield wall for a three-run home run with no outs. Calm under pressure, Tedesco struck out two and got out of the inning on a fly ball fielded by Tyner Hughes.
The West Virginia offense came to its starting pitcher’s aid and responded with 10 runs in three innings. In the fifth, Vorhees got his second RBI of the night on a single that scored Patrick Lee.
After Tedesco retired the side in the sixth, the Black Bears went to work. Cam Ridley continued to deliver with a triple in the bottom of the inning. Ridley scored on a wild pitch from Cutters’ starter Salvatore Ferro for a two-run lead. After loading the bases with two walks, Williamsport manager Jesse Litsch pulled Ferro and sent in reliever David Mata. Patrick Lee grounded into a force out at second base, but a fielding error by Freddy Rojas, Jr., created enough time for Torres and Lucier to score. Lee stole second and third to move 90 feet from home, and two more walks loaded the bases again. Three consecutive singles from Hansen, Ridley and Hughes scored three more runs before Mata secured the final out. Heading into the seventh, West Virginia held a commanding 11-3 lead.
Davis Burgin entered in the seventh for the Crosscutters as the Bears stepped to the plate. Burgin gave up two free runs by walking Hansen and Ridley with the bases juiced. Another pitching change ensued, and Mitchell Scott replaced the struggling Burgin. Scott got the last out but not before the Bears jumped ahead by ten.
Williamsport rallied for two runs in the top of the ninth, but they could not overcome the distance created by the West Virginia bats. Becker singled to score Greer and load the bases, and a walk of Gonzalez gave the Cutters one more. Danny Vasquez entered for Black Bears’ reliever Jim Jarecki and ended the game on a double play.
In another big win over the Crosscutters, Cam Ridley kept his hot streak burning through Sunday’s contest. Ridley, who brought home four RBI in Saturday’s game, went two-for-four at the dish with one run and two RBI. Anthony Hansen continued his trend of dominating at home with two runs and three RBI, tying with Michael Cooper for the most RBI at home this season (20).
Brady Tedesco (6-0) picked up the win for the Bears. Despite giving up three runs with the homer in the fifth, Tedesco added eight strikeouts to his total. In addition to holding the MLB Draft League record for most strikeouts in a game, he also leads the league in total strikeouts with 76 this season. Steven Colon posted two scoreless innings in relief through the eighth, giving up just one hit with two strikeouts in his appearance.
With the win, West Virginia moves one game closer to clinching a spot in the MLB Draft League championship with a 4.5 game lead on the Frederick Keys and five games remaining. The Black Bears finish the season on the road at Mahoning Valley and Frederick. The first series, a three-game set with the Scrappers, begins Tuesday, August 29.