Black Bears halt 3-game skid, defeating Brooklyn 5-2

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GRANVILLE, W.VA (WDTV) - (Black Bears game release):

Granville, W. Va. – The Force was with the West Virginia Black Bears on Saturday night, as they defeated the Brooklyn Cyclones 5-2.

To celebrate Star Wars Night at Monongalia County Ballpark, the Black Bears wore alternate jerseys depicting Han Solo’s classic outfit from the original trilogy. The jerseys were auctioned off during the game, and the money was donated to WVU Medicine Children’s Hospital.

1B Luke Mangieri started things off for West Virginia in the bottom of the first inning. The first-year pro crushed a line drive over the right field wall for his second home run of the season, putting the home team up 1-0.

Starting pitcher Aaron Shortridge left the game after two and one-third scoreless innings, but was replaced by reliever Nicholas Economos, who worked out of a pair of jams in the third and fourth inning.

Then in the bottom of the fourth, the Black Bears scored another run. With a runner on third, RF Brett Kinneman lined a single up the middle for his 21st RBI of the season, putting West Virginia up 2-0.

Brooklyn finally got on the board in the top of the fifth, as the visitors scored on a double to cut into the lead. Economos exited the game in line for the win, pitching two and two-thirds innings while surrendering one run on two hits to go with four strikeouts and three walks.

The Black Bears got a run back in the sixth inning on a sac-fly from DH Jhoan Herrera to put the team up 3-1.

After the Cyclones got a run of their own on a sac-fly in the seventh, West Virginia got some insurance in the eighth inning. LF Daniel Amaral drove in a run on an RBI single to right field, and Mangieri followed up with a single of his own to put the Black Bears up 5-2 heading into the ninth inning.

Mangieri finished the game hitting 2-4 with two RBIs, picking up a walk to go with his home run.

P Conner Loeprich picked up his third save of the year, retiring Brooklyn on three consecutive groundouts to secure the team’s sixteenth win of the season.

With the series ties at 1-1, both teams come back for game three tomorrow afternoon. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.