Granville, W. Va. – (Black Bears game release)
Santa didn’t come early this year at Monongalia County Ballpark, as the West Virginia Black Bears fell 5-1 to the Aberdeen Ironbirds on Christmas in July.
The Black Bears strung together nine hits in the ballgame, but were unable to bring runners across home plate. The home team left nine runners on base, resulting in just one run.
Aberdeen started things off with a run in the top of the first, but West Virginia came right back in the bottom of the inning. Leadoff man CF Travis Swaggerty cranked his third home run of the season on a laser to right field, tying the game at 1-1.
The Ironbirds came back with two runs in the second inning. A single and a pickoff error to first base brought a pair in for Aberdeen to retake the lead.
After an RBI double in the top of the third inning, West Virginia trailed the visitors 4-1.
The Ironbirds tacked on another run in the sixth, but after that the Black Bears bullpen dominated in the remaining three innings. The newest member of the team, relief pitcher Will Gardner, threw two shutout innings with two strikeouts in his debut in Granville.
After P Conner Loeprich threw a scoreless inning in the top of the ninth, West Virginia was unable to mount the comeback in the bottom of the inning, as Aberdeen tied the series at one game apiece.
The rubber match between the Black Bears and the Ironbirds is scheduled for tomorrow night, with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m.