The Bears Bounce Back with 5-1 Game Two Win over the Keys

GRANVILLE, W.Va. – After dropping the first game of the series in sudden death to the Frederick Keys, West Virginia bounced back with a 5-1 win on Wednesday evening at Monongalia County Ballpark. The Black Bears bullpen held the Keys to two hits and no runs through five innings of play with LHP Ian McMahon picking up his second win of the season.

The Keys wasted no time scoring in the top of the first as DH Jake Plastiak recorded an RBI ground out for the first run of the game. It would, however, be Frederick’s only run as the Bears shut down the Keys’ offense through the remaining eight innings.

West Virginia responded with a run in the bottom of the inning to tie the game. After reaching on a single to right field, DH Ryan Hernandez scored the first Black Bears run on an RBI double by 1B Logan Mathieu.

In the bottom of the third, the Bears added three more runs to their score off Keys starting pitcher Jonathan Pintaro. A single from LF Adan Fernandez scored Hernandez for the second time to take a 2-1 lead. The next at-bat, 3B Jack Elliott tripled on a fly ball to center field to bring home Fernandez before a single by RF Ruben Fontes plated Elliott. Pintaro hemorrhaged the bleeding with two strikeouts but not before the Bears took a 4-1 lead.

While working through a shaky first inning, West Virginia starting pitcher Chase Lorg and the Black Bears defense played a tight game through the first four. After allowing three hits in the first, Lorg pulled together to retire the Keys and give up just one additional hit in the top of the second. The Central Oklahoma University alum finished his four innings with four hits, one run and four strikeouts.  

Left-hander Ian McMahon took over for Lorg in the fifth inning. In a solid performance on the mound, McMahon nabbed his second win of the season while allowing one hit in two innings with two strikeouts.

The Black Bears offense tallied one final run in the bottom of the sixth. Second baseman Maddux Houghton sent an RBI double deep to center field to bring home CF Turner Hill to take a 5-1 lead.

In an effort to avoid repeating Tuesday night’s dysfunction, the Bears’ bullpen backed their offense with five shutout innings. Rhian Mann entered in the seventh for one inning of relief, giving up one hit but getting the final two outs without allowing the runner to advance. Kanan Butler took to the hill in the eighth for no hits and two strikeouts, while RHP Bryce Woody retired the side to close out the game.

With the win, West Virginia is now 46-28 on the season with four games remaining. The Black Bears return for the final regular season home game on Thursday for College Colors Day at Monongalia County Ballpark. First pitch for the Thursday night matchup is set for 6:35 p.m.