Bears Defeat Spikes in Sudden Death to Take the Series
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. – The West Virginia Black Bears defeated the State College Spikes in sudden death in Thursday night’s rubber match at Medlar Field. Starting pitcher Zach Bravo turned in a solid appearance on the mound while Turner Hill and Maddux Houghton led the team at the plate. For
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. – The West Virginia Black Bears defeated the State College Spikes in sudden death in Thursday night’s rubber match at Medlar Field. Starting pitcher Zach Bravo turned in a solid appearance on the mound while Turner Hill and Maddux Houghton led the team at the plate.
For the third straight night scoring began early as both teams tallied runs in the opening frame. In the top of the first, DH Logan Mathieu put the ball in play and RF Turner Hill scored on an error by Spikes SS DeAndre Shelton. Adan Fernandez then roped an RBI double to center field that scored 1B Ryan Hernandez to give the Bears a 2-0 lead.
The Spikes responded in the bottom of the inning. Continuing to mash at the plate, DH Brock Reller sent a two-run home run to deep into right field, plating RF Trent Taylor and tying the game at two.
Both starters settled in after a rocky first inning. Bravo finally registered the bounce-back start he needed, going six innings allowing seven hits and two runs with no walks and four strikeouts. Spikes starting pitcher Jared Kengott tossed five innings allowing five hits and two runs, while walking two and striking out four.
The Bears took the lead in the top of the sixth, as CF Maddux Houghton drove home the third West Virginia run on a double to left field. Houghton, who recorded two hits and one RBI during the evening, drove in J.C. Santini to give the Black Bears a 3-2 lead.
The West Virginia bullpen picked up where Bravo left off in the seventh inning. Relievers Kanan Butler and Tyler Johnson each tossed one scoreless inning to keep the Bears on top.
Then in the ninth inning, 2B Marques Paige launched solo home run to right field on a full count with two outs on the board. The home run tied the game and sent the two teams into sudden death.
With State College electing to hit, West Virginia closer Grayson Thurman stayed on the hill as the inning began with DeAndre Shelton on first base. Thurman struck out Taylor as catcher J.C. Santini threw out Shelton trying to steal second for the double play. After an intentional walk to Reller, C Luis Aviles bounced a shot right back to the mound where Thurman fielded and flipped it to first to secure the victory for the Bears.
Turner Hill continued to produce offensively for West Virginia as he went two-for-four with one run during Thursday night’s contest. Hill leads the MLB Draft League with a .451 BA in his 17 games with the Black Bears.
With the win, West Virginia improved to 12-7 on the second half of the season with an overall record of 35-22. The Bears now sit atop the MLB Draft League standings with two games between them and the second place Williamsport Crosscutters. West Virginia begins a new series on the road against the Trenton Thunder, Friday through Sunday, before returning to Monongalia County Ballpark on Tuesday, August 16. First pitch for Friday’s matchup at Trenton Thunder Ballpark begins at 7:00 p.m.