The Pittsburgh Pirates Short Season-A affiliate, the West Virginia Black Bears, wrapped up their eleventh home series of the season Wednesday night. The Black Bears hosted the Batavia Muckdogs. The Muckdogs are an affiliate of the Miami Marlins. The Black Bears entered the series with a record of 31-30, while the Muckdogs came into the series with an 25-35 record.
Game one on Monday resulted in a 10-9 win for the Black Bears. The Batavia Muckdogs roughed up Black Bears starting pitcher Bret Helton for six runs in the first and one run in the second. However, the Black Bears would battle back. In the bottom of the second inning, with Ty Moore on first, Daniel Arribas triples scoring Moore. Mitchell Tolman grounds out scoring Arribas. In the bottom of the third, Kevin Kramer led off the inning with a triple and then scored on a Christian Kelley single. Ty Moore would then reach on an error. A wild pitch would allow Kelley and Moore to advance to third and second. Albert Baur would then hit a sacrifice fly that scored Kelley. Arribas would single scoring Moore to cut the lead to 7-5. In the fifth, Ty Moore would reach base after being hit by a pitch. He would later score on a Mitchell Tolman single. The Muckdogs would add two runs in the top of the sixth to make it a 9-6. Logan Hill would hit his seventh home run of the season in the bottom of the sixth. Then, in the bottom of the seventh with the score 9-7, Kevin Kramer would single to right field scoring Alexis Bastardo and Erik Forgione. With the game deadlocked at nine reach for each side, they headed to extra innings. In the bottom of the 13th, Erik Forgione doubled with two outs. Kevin Kramer would single to left field scoring Erik Forgione and giving the Black Bears the win.
The offense was led by Kevin Kramer’s five for eight night, including two RBIs. Daniel Arribas would add three hits and two RBIs. Erik Forgione collected three hits. Ty Moore, Albert Baur, Mitchell Tolman each added two hits. Tolman also had two RBIs. Baur had one RBI. Christian Kelley added a hit and RBI. Logan Hill had just the home run. Alexis Bastardo added a hit.
The Black Bears used six pitchers in the game. Starter Bret Helton only lasted two innings, and gave up seven runs(four earned), on eight hits and two strikeouts. Eric Dorsch pitched three innings in relief and allowed two earned runs on three hits and struck out four. Tate Scioneaux went three innings and allowed just two hits, one walk and four strikeouts. Sean Keselica went 0.2 innings and allowed a hit and two walks. Julio Eusebio went 3.1 innings and allowed only one hit, one walk and three strikeouts. Infielder Chris Harvey pitched the top of the thirteenth inning and picked up the win. Harvey struck out one batter during his first appearance on the mound.
Game two on Tuesday resulted in a 3-2 win for the Black Bears. The Muckdogs would chase Black Bears starting pitcher Brandon Waddell after scoring two runs in the top of the first inning. The Black Bears would get back into the game in the bottom of the second inning. Albert Baur would lead off the inning with a double. Baur advanced to third on a wild pitch. Baur would later score on another wild pitch. Logan Ratledge would bunt for a single, then move to second on an Erik Forgione single. Ratledge would then score as Mitchell Tolman reached on an error. In the bottom of the third, Logan Hill would double and later score on a Ryan Nagle single. That would be the end of the scoring for both teams, giving the Black Bears the win.
This was a team effort as far as the offense goes. Ryan Nagle, Erik Forgione, Logan Ratledge, Albert Baur, Logan Hill, Ty Moore and Christian Kelley each had a hit. Nagle had the only RBI for the Black Bears.
Black Bears starting pitcher, Brandon Waddell, only lasted a third of an inning while giving up two runs on two hits, one walk and a strike out. Juan Paula picked up his fifth win of the season while going 4.2 innings and allowing two hits, three walks and a strikeout. Jerry Mulderig went three innings and gave up just two hits. Nick Hibbing picked up his first save while going one inning and allowing two hits.
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Game three on Wednesday resulted in a 4-2 win for the Black Bears. The Muckdogs plated a run in the top of the first when Brad Haynal doubled in Travis Brewster. The Black Bears would answer in the fourth when Ke’Bryan Hayes reached on an error. Hayes would then score his first run with the Black Bears on an Albert Baur single. In the bottom of the 5th, Erik Forgione would reach on catcher interference. Forgione would then score on a Christian Kelley single. Logan Hill then tripled to score Kelley. Hill would also score on an error by the second baseman to give the Black Bears a 4-1 lead. The Muckdogs would add a run in the eighth and the final score would be 4-2.
Christian Kelley, Logan Hill and Albert Baur would each end the night with a hit and an RBI. Daniel Arribas added a hit and two walks. Ke’Bryan Hayes, who was just called up from the Gulf Coast League, did not get a hit but did score a run in his Black Bears debut.
Black Bears Starting Pitcher Seth McGarry went 3.2 innings and allowed one earned run on three hits, four walks and five strikeouts. Cesilio Pimentel picked up his second win in relief. Pimentel went 3.1 innings and allowed just one hit, two walks and five strikeouts. Daniel Zamora registered his second save while going two innings and allowing one earned run on five hits and two strikeouts.
With the sweep of the Batavia Muckdogs, the Black Bears currently lead the State College Spikes by half a game in the Wild Card Standings. As for the division race, the Black Bears trail the Williamsport Crosscutters by eight games.
The Black Bears finish up the home stand by hosting a three game series with the Mahoning Valley Scrappers. Then, they head to Batavia for a three game series with the Muckdogs.
Be sure to get your tickets now as the Black Bears only have six home games remaining in the regular season! For tickets, visit www.westvirginiablackbears.com, visit the ticket office at the ballpark, or call 304-293-8422.
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!