Entering a Labor Day matinee clash with Williamsport, the Black Bears' chances of making the postseason were as slim as could be.
With four games to play, West Virginia was 3.5 games behind both Mahoning Valley in the Pinckney Division and Hudson Valley in the wild card race. The Bears needed a win and some help to stay in contention another day.
The Black Bears handled the part they could control, beating the Crosscutters 3-1 at Monongalia County Ballpark.
The other part of the equation didn't pan out.
Both Mahoning Valley and Hudson Valley played road doubleheaders. The Scrappers swept their doubleheader with Batavia, winning 4-3 and 6-2. Hudson Valley took two at Lowell by final scores of 5-1 and 11-3. Those results mean the Black Bears are eliminated from playoff contention.
The Bears used a barrage of early hits to top Williamsport Monday, scoring one run in each of the game's first three innings and tallying nine hits total. Starting pitcher Ike Schlabach put the Bears in prime position to win by allowing just one run over five innings while striking out five.
The Black Bears (39-34) wrap up a three-game series with the Crosscutters (35-36) Tuesday night at 7:05 p.m., before venturing to Ohio to play the final two games of their season at Mahoning Valley.
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