TRENTON, NJ – The West Virginia Black Bears took the series from the Trenton Thunder in a 5-1 win at Trenton Thunder Ballpark on Wednesday morning. After allowing a record 25 runs in game two the previous night, the Black Bears bounced back with a strong win led by a
TRENTON, NJ – The West Virginia Black Bears took the series from the Trenton Thunder in a 5-1 win at Trenton Thunder Ballpark on Wednesday morning. After allowing a record 25 runs in game two the previous night, the Black Bears bounced back with a strong win led by a dominant pitching performance from starting pitcher Jeremy Cook.
Trenton hopped on the board first in the bottom of the second inning as CF Ryan McCarthy took advantage of wild pitch off starter Jeremy Cook to score the Thunder’s first and only run of the game. Despite allowing one run, Cook held the Thunder at bay with a season-high 13 strikeouts through his six-inning appearance. Cook retired the side in two innings and allowed just four hits with one walk.
The Bears tied the game in the top of the third on an RBI ground out from DH Ruben Fontes that scored RF Turner Hill for his first run of the game. Two innings later, CF Maddux Houghton scored catcher JC Santini from third on a sacrifice fly to center fied to give West Virginia a 2-1 lead. After a mound visit, Trenton caught Hill stealing second but could not stop SS Anthony Stehlin from crossing home plate. The Bears ended the inning on a fly-out to center with a two-run advantage over the Thunder.
A pitching change for Trenton kept West Virginia quiet through the top of the sixth, but a double in top of the seventh inning from Fontes scored Houghton to give the Black Bears a 4-1 lead.
Reliever Kanan Butler entered to pick up where Cook left off in the bottom of the seventh. Though a wild pitch and a walk put Trenton in scoring position, Butler closed out his single-inning appearance with a force-out as he allowed just one hit with two strikeouts.
In the top of the ninth, Houghton returned with his second RBI of the day to drive in West Virginia’s final run. A sac-fly to center field allowed Hill to cross home plate for the second time to give the Bears the four-run lead heading into the home half of the inning. Grayson Thurman, the right-handed pitcher from the University of Lynchburg, closed the game for the Bears as he retired the side in the bottom of the ninth.
In a drastic change from last night’s performance, the Black Bears bullpen held the Thunder to three hits with no runs allowed following Cook’s start on the mound. The Bears’ pitchers combined for 16 strikeouts and only two walks through nine innings of play.
Offensively, Turner Hill continued his hot streak as he went three-for-four with two runs, bringing his already impressive batting average to .500 through six games with the Black Bears. Houghton and Fontes both recorded two RBI on Wednesday as the Bears collectively tallied eight hits.
With the win, West Virginia has now won seven consecutive series with the last series loss occurring on June 30 against the Williamsport Crosscutters. The Black Bears return to Monongalia County Ballpark to begin a four-game series against the Frederick Keys on Thursday, July 28. First pitch for tomorrow’s game is set for 6:35 p.m.