West Virginia Black Bears Clinch Wild Card In Final Series
The Pittsburgh Pirates Short Season-A affiliate, the West Virginia Black Bears, wrapped up their final road series of the regular season Monday night. The Black Bears headed to Mahoning Valley to take on the Scrappers. The Scrappers are an affiliate of the Cleveland Indians. The Black Bears entered the series with a record of 39-34, while the Scrappers came into the series with an 31-41 record.
Game one on Saturday resulted in a 10-3 win for the Black Bears. The Black Bears bats came out swinging early. Mitchell Tolman, Christian Kelley and Ty Moore each singled and eventually scored to start the game off with a three run lead. Daniel Arribas homered in the third inning to extend the lead to four. In the top of the fourth, the Black Bears broke the game wide open. Erik Forgione singled and then scored on Mitchell Tolman‘s double. Christian Kelley would be hit by a pitch and Ty Moore would walk to load the bases. Daniel Arribas would be issued a bases loaded walk scoring Tolman. A passed ball would allow Christian Kelley to score. Logan Hill would hit a sacrifice fly scoring Ty Moore to extend the lead to eight. The Scrappers would get in the board in the bottom of the fourth when Mark Mathias doubled and later scored. In the sixth, the Scrappers would add two runs to make it 8-3. The Black Bears would hit five singles to start the top of the eighth. Erik Forgione and Mitchell Tolman would each score to extend the lead to the eventual final of 10-3.
Several Black Bears led the offense on the night. Mitchell Tolman had three hits, one RBI and scored three times. Daniel Arribas had two hits, including a home run, and three RBIs. Erik Forgione had three hits and scored twice. Christian Kelley and Ty Moore each had two hits, one RBI and scored twice. Logan Hill added one hit and two RBIs. Carlos Munoz didn’t have a hit but did pick up an RBI.
Black Bears starting pitcher Brandon Waddell picked up his first win while going five innings and allowing just one run on four hits, one walk and four strikeouts. Eric Dorsch went two innings and allowed two runs on one hit, one walk and one strikeout. Sean Keselica pitched the final two frames and did not allow a hit while striking out five.
Game two on Sunday resulted in a 12-8 win for the Black Bears. The Black Bears bats got things started early once again. In the first inning, Christian Kelley scored on a Logan Hill double. Ke’Bryan Hayes doubled scoring Ty Moore and Logan Hill. Casey Hughston would then single scoring Carlos Munoz and Ke’Bryan Hayes to take a five run lead. The Scrappers would score a run in the first and second innings. Then, in the bottom of the fourth, the Scrappers would put up four runs to take a 6-5 lead. The Black Bears would answer back in the top of the fifth. Daniel Arribas and Logan Hill would each single to start the inning. Arribas would then score on a single by Carlos Munoz. Ke’Bryan Hayes would then walk to load the bases. Casey Hughston then doubled scoring Logan Hill and Carlos Munoz to give the Black Bears an 8-5 lead. In the bottom of the fifth, Ka’ai Tom homered to cut the Black Bears lead to 8-6. The top of the sixth, the Black Bears extended the lead. With two outs, Logan Hill singled and Carlos Munoz walked. Ke’Bryan Hayes then singled scoring Logan Hill. Casey Hughston walked to load the bases. Erik Forgione singled scoring Munoz, Hayes and Hughston to take a 12-7 lead. The Scrappers would score one run in the seventh to make the final 12-8.
Each Black Bear starting player on offense had a hit on the night. Logan Hill led the way with three hits and one RBI. Casey Hughston collected two hits and four RBIs. Ke’Bryan Hayes added two hits and three RBIs. Erik Forgione picked up two hits and two RBIs. Mitchell Tolman had two hits. Carlos Munoz had a hit and RBI. Christian Kelley, Ty Moore and Daniel Arribas each added a hit.
Black Bears starting pitcher Luis Escobar went 3.1 innings and allowed five runs (four earned) on five hits, two walks and two strikeouts. Juan Paula went just 0.2 innings and picked up his sixth win of the season. He allowed one run on one hit. Daniel Zamora went 2.2 innings and allowed two runs on five hits. Julio Eusebio picked up his fifth save of the season while going 2.1 innings and allowing one hit and striking out three.
More from Pirates Prospects
- Pittsburgh Pirates: Top Pitching Prospects Fans Could See Early in 2023
- Pittsburgh Pirates: Three Prospects to Watch Early in 2023
- Pittsburgh Pirates: Bold Strategy to Start at Second Base
- Pittsburgh Pirates: Taking Stock of Teenage Prospects
- Pittsburgh Pirates Prospects: Previewing Bradenton’s Potential Staff
Game three on Monday resulted in an 8-2 win for the Black Bears. The Black Bears came into the final game of the season with the ability to control their own destiny. Simply put, Win and they clinch the wild card. The Scrappers got on the board first in the bottom of the third. The Black Bears would answer in a big way in the fifth. Ke’Bryan Hayes scored the first run on an Erik Forgione single. Casey Hughston and Erik Forgione would cross the plate on a Mitchell Tolman double. Tolman then scored on a Daniel Arribas single to make it 4-1. The Scrappers would cut the lead to 4-2 on a Jodd Carter solo home run. The Black Bears extended the lead in the eighth when Ty Moore scored on a balk. Casey Hughston then hit a three run home run with Daniel Arribas and Carlos Munoz on base giving the Black Bears an 8-2 lead.
The Black Bears offense was led by Casey Hughston’s three run home run. Mitchell Tolman added two hits and two RBIs. Daniel Arribas had two hits and one RBI. Ty Moore, Ke’Bryan Hayes and Erik Forgione each added a hit.
Black Bears starting pitcher JT Brubaker went six innings and allowed just one run on five hits and four strikeouts. Reliever Cesilio Pimentel pitched two innings and allowed one run on two hits, one walk and one strikeout. Tate Scioneaux pitched the ninth and struck out two.
The Black Bears have clinched the Wild Card and will host Game One of the Semifinal Championship Series on Wednesday night against the Williamsport Crosscutters. The best of three series will then move to Williamsport for Game Two and Game Three.
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!