Crosscutters Sweep with 4-2 Win over West Virginia 


GRANVILLE, W.Va. – The West Virginia Black Bears dropped the final game of the series to the Williamsport Crosscutters 4-2 at Kendrick Family Ballpark Thursday evening. Despite an early lead for the Black Bears, the first-place Crosscutters rallied for a four-run inning powered by McGwire Holbrook’s three-run homer in the sixth. With the loss, the Black Bears fall to 9-11, six games behind the Crosscutters.

West Virginia began the game strong, holding Williamsport scoreless through the third. Bears’ starter Cory Ronan recorded three strikeouts with just two hits in his first three frames of work.

The Black Bears scored first in the bottom of the inning. After reaching on a fielder’s choice, Ryley Preece stole second. On an error by Cutters’ starting pitcher Zachary Murray, Preece sped around the bases to bring in the first run.

An inning later, Roman Kuntz smashed a ball beyond the home bullpen for his second home run of the season. Heading into the fifth, West Virginia led 2-0.

Williamsport struck back with four runs in the top of the sixth. Max Handler doubled on a grounder to left field, bringing home third baseman Eddie Rynders. Riley Nelson joined Rynders on base on a walk, setting up catcher McGwire Holbrook for a towering three-run home run. West Virginia’s Kobe Beaudion entered in relief of Ronan with two outs to end the inning on a strikeout, but the damage was done. With his 400-foot moonshot, Holbrook gave the Crosscutters a 4-2 lead.

Down by two, West Virginia attempted a rally in the final frame. Pinch hitting for Bikar, Jeff Liquori roped a single to left field. A walk of Preece put two Bears on base with two outs, but Jack O’Dowd struck out swinging to end the game.

For the Black Bears, Roman Kuntz led the offense with his 398-foot solo shot to right field. The Morehead State infielder recorded one hit, run and RBI. Starter Cory Ronan finished his fifth start with six strikeouts through 5.2 innings pitched.

Williamsport starting pitcher, Zachary Murray (2.86 ERA) struck out six in his seven-inning outing. Allowing just four hits and one earned run, the right-hander nabbed up his fourth win of the season. McGwire Holbrook led the Cutters at the plate. No stranger to Kendrick Family Ballpark, the former Mountaineer picked up one hit, three RBI and a home run.

West Virginia hits the road for Happy Valley and a three-game series against the State College Spikes beginning Friday, June 28. The Black Bears return to Kendrick Family Ballpark for a two-game set with the Mahoning Valley Scrappers on July 2.