West Virginia Falls to State College 8-7 in Game Two

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. – In a tough offensive matchup, the West Virginia Black Bears fell to the State College Spikes by a score of 8-7 at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park on Wednesday evening. Adan Fernandez went a perfect three-for-three at the plate in the loss, while Marques Paige and Brock Reller led the Spikes on offense. Neither bullpen allowed an earned run over the last five innings though the Black Bears stranded several on base over the course of the evening.  

The scoring started early once again for both teams as the Black Bears jumped out to a lead in the top of the first inning. Ryan Hernandez roped an RBI single that drove in 2B Maddux Houghton to open the scoring.

After starting pitcher Luke Eldred posted a scoreless inning in the bottom of the first, West Virginia struck for four more runs in the second inning. Shortstop Anthony Stehlin grounded into a fielder’s choice plating RF Ruben Fontes. Turner Hill followed that with an RBI triple that scored Stehlin to extend the Bears lead to three. A Maddux Houghton RBI groundout that brought home CF Turner Hill and a single from LF Adan Fernandez gave West Virginia a 5-0 lead heading into the bottom of the second.

The Spikes responded quickly in the home half of the inning as a sacrifice fly from 1B Devin Buckner scored DH Brock Reller. State College SS Brody Perkes cut the Bears lead to 5-2 with an RBI single that plated 3B Nick Gile.

In the third inning, the Spikes cut into the deficit even further as 2B Marques Paige launched a two-run home run to pull State College within one.

West Virginia added a run in the top of the fourth with a single from Houghton that scored Hill to bring the score to 6-4. However, State College took the lead for good in the bottom of the inning. Paige doubled in two runs before Reller singled in two more on a line drive to right field to give the Spikes an 8-6 lead.

Though Fernandez added one more run for the Black Bears in the sixth with an RBI single that brought 1B Logan Mathieu across the plate, it would not be enough to overcome the deficit.

Out of the bullpen, Rhian Mann and Ian McMahon were bright spots for West Virginia as they did not allow a run and just one hit through a combined four innings. Mann tossed three shutout innings, striking out two, while McMahon threw a scoreless eighth.  

Offensively, Adan Fernandez was perfect at the plate with three hits in three at-bats and one RBI. Maddux Houghton, Logan Mathieu and Ryan Hernandez also featured heavily in the 12-hit evening, as both Houghton and Mathieu notched two hits and one run each, while Hernandez went two-for-four with one run.

The Black Bears and Spikes face off once again at Medlar Field on Thursday evening in the rubber match. First pitch for the game is set for 6:35 p.m.