The Pittsburgh Pirates Short Season-A affiliate, the West Virginia Black Bears, wrapped up their ninth home series of the season Friday night. The Black Bears hosted the Aberdeen IronBirds. The IronBirds are an affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles. The Black Bears entered the series with a record of 25-26, while the IronBirds came into the series with an 24-26 record.
Game one on Wednesday resulted in a 3-1 loss for the Black Bears. The Black Bears took the early lead as Christian Kelley scored on a wild pitch by IronBirds pitcher Lazaro Leyva in the third inning. The IronBirds plated a run in the top of the fifth and then added two in the sixth inning. The Black Bears would not score again.
Black Bears Starting Pitcher Bret Helton suffered the loss while going 5.2 innings, allowing three runs on three hits, two walks and two strikeouts. Nick Hibbing pitched 1.1 innings, allowed one hit and struck out two. Daniel Zamora pitched the final two innings, allowed one hit, one walk and struck out five.
Game two on Thursday resulted in a 4-1 loss for the Black Bears. In the top of the third, the IronBirds first batter of the innings was hit by a pitch. The next two batters each doubled and scored a run. Later in the third, an RBI single gave them a three run lead. In the seventh inning, the IronBirds added another run. Finally, in the bottom of the eighth, Kevin Kramer hit a sacrifice fly that scored Christian Kelley.
Black Bears Starting Pitcher Dario Agrazal suffered the loss while going five innings, allowing three runs on five hits, one walk and four strikeouts. Jerry Mulderig pitched two innings and allowed one run on one hit and struck out one. Juan Paula pitched the final two innings and allowed one hit and struck out three.
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Game three on Friday resulted in a 4-1 win for the Black Bears. Black Bears starting pitcher Brandon Waddell made his home debut. The Black Bears pitching staff combined to allow just four hits and one run on the night. In the bottom of the second, Alexis Bastardo hit an RBI single that scored Logan Ratledge. In the bottom of the fifth, Mitchell Tolman doubled, then moved to third on a Ryan Nagle single and later scored on a passed ball. Ryan Nagle moved to third on the passed ball and later scored on an Albert Baur single. In the bottom of the eighth, Chris Harvey reached on an error by IronBirds first baseman. Harvey moved to second on a Kevin Kramer single. Mitchell Tolman then walked to load the bases. Ryan Nagle then hit a sacrifice fly to center that scored Harvey.
Black Bears Starting Pitcher Brandon Waddell pitched four shutout innings, allowing just one hit and three strikeouts. Sean Keselica picked up the win while going two innings and allowing one run on one hit, two walks and three strikeouts. Cesilio Pimentel picked up his fourth save while going the final three innings and allowing two hits and struck out three.
As for the Black Bears Offense, the bats came alive for the final game of the series. Albert Baur and Alexis Bastardo led the way with three hits and one RBI each. Daniel Arribas, Mitchell Tolman and Kevin Kramer each added two hits. Ryan Nagle added a hit and an RBI.
The Black Bears will head to State College for games on Saturday and Sunday with the Spikes. On Monday and Tuesday, most of the team will get the days off while several players will head to Aberdeen for the All-Star Game.
Make sure to tune in to Rum Bunter as we continue to provide coverage of not only the Pittsburgh Pirates but of the West Virginia Black Bears throughout the season!