Black Bears Batter the Scrappers in 16-9 Game Two Victory

GRANVILLE, W.Va. – The West Virginia Black Bears took down the Mahoning Valley Scrappers in a huge 16-9 win at Monongalia County Ballpark on Saturday evening for Military Appreciation Night. On another big offensive night, the Black Bears drove in 16 runs on 12 hits including a home run by Adan Fernandez – his fifth in five games.

West Virginia struggled early in the game. In the top of the first, the Scrappers scored two runs when DH Parker DePasquale fired a shot into center field that drove in CF Dominick Bucko and SS Jeffrey Wehler. After a scoreless bottom, the Bears ended the inning trailing 2-0.

The game opened up in a big way for West Virginia in the bottom of the second. With two runners on and one out, catcher JC Santini continued his hitting streak with a shot to right center field, driving home LF Adan Fernandez. With RF Ruben Fontes threatening on third base, a wild pitch from Mahoning Valley’s Jacob Harsany sent him home to tie the game. West Virginia took the lead with a sacrifice-fly from Tyler Bosetti that put Santini across home plate for a 3-2 advantage heading into the third.

The Scrappers shot back in the top of the inning to tie the game. With two runners on for Mahoning Valley, DePasquale grounded to 3B Jack Elliot, leading to a 5-4-3 double play for the Black Bears. Wehler advanced home on the play to knot the game at three runs.

The back-and-forth play continued in the bottom of the third inning. Ryan Hernandez started it off with his second single in as many attempts. The next at-bat, 1B Logan Mathieu fired a ball into center field to put Hernandez in scoring position. West Virginia re-took the lead later in the inning when Hernandez scored on a single by Fontes.

Mahoning Valley responded with five runs the next inning. After loading the bases, starting pitcher Rhian Mann exited the game with one out on the board. Mann, who finished his 3.1 innings pitched with five hits, six runs (four earned) and four strikeouts, was relieved by Chase Lorg. The Scrappers plated two on an RBI single by Wehler before a home run by RF Ron Washington, Jr. cleared the bases for a four-run Mahoning Valley lead.

The Scrappers extended their lead in the top of the fifth on an RBI single by LF Abimael Gonzales that scored 1B Adam Fogel. The Black Bears escaped the inning thanks to a strikeout from reliever Brian Williams and a Scrappers fly-out to Fernandez in left field.

Just when things looked dire for West Virginia, the bats came alive in the bottom of the inning.  With one out, an error from the Scrappers 2B Will Prater kept the inning alive for the Black Bears. A shot into right field from Elliot scored Mathieu to cut the lead to 9-5. Later, Fontes doubled on a fly-ball to left field that drove in Fernandez and Elliott. A wild pitch by Scrappers reliever Alan Carter brought Fontes home, before 2B Maddux Houghton capped off the inning with a ball into right field that scored Santini and SS Tyler Bosetti. West Virginia ended the inning leading 10-9.

The Black Bears extended their lead in the sixth with three more runs. Elliott drove in another run on a line drive to center field to bring home Mathieu. Bosetti picked up his second RBI of the game with a single that drove in Fernandez. Then CF Turner Hill brought home the 13th run with a sac-fly to right field.

West Virginia continued to pour it on thick in the last two innings as Fernandez smashed his fifth home run in as many games with a deep shot over the left centerfield wall for a 14-9 lead. The Bears added a couple insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth. A triple by Bosetti sent Santini home, and another wild pitch allowed Bosetti to score the final run.

On a powerful offensive night, eight of nine Black Bears batters recorded a hit with seven notching at least one RBI. Ruben Fontes and Tyler Bosetti both ended their evenings with two hits in three at-bats, two runs and three RBI. Though the defense struggled during the first half of the game, they shut down the Scrappers in the last four innings, holding them scoreless with just three hits.

With the win, West Virginia takes the series against Mahoning Valley and improves to 45-26 on the season. West Virginia currently owns first place in the second half MLB Draft League Standings. The final game in the series against Mahoning Valley is set for Sunday afternoon at Monongalia County Ballpark for the last Kids’ Day of the season. First pitch is set for 4:05 p.m.