Black Bears starting pitchers showing signs of improvement after rough Opening Day

Sports

GRANVILLE, W.Va. – The West Virginia Black Bears are still getting adjusted to life in the MLB Draft League, as the season is just underway.

West Virginia (0-2-1) is winless on the season, thus far.

After a rocky start to the year on Opening Day, starting pitching has improved in the two games that followed.

Florida State commit, Mitch Bratt, struck out six batters in three innings on Tuesday. Bratt ultimately got a no decision.

Meanwhile, Belmont product, Joshua South, pitched four innings of shutout ball Thursday night on the road against the Frederick Keys. South was also saddled with a no decision, as the bullpen allowed five runs in the fifth inning.

Overall, Black Bears manager, Jedd Gyorko, was excited about what he saw from his pitchers early on, and Bratt spoke recently to what worked for him on the mound in his first start with the club.

“Guys threw the ball well,” Gyorko said following Tuesday’s contest. “Everyone that went out there threw the ball really well. I like that we cut down on the walks from the first night. Guys were competing, throwing the ball in the zone, which is good. These hitters are young, they’re getting used to using a wooden bat. We need pitchers who are going to pound the zone. It’s going to be important to get outs and getting quick innings.”

“I would say my curveball was definitely working today,” Bratt said. “I was able to locate that pitch throughout the entire game. My fastball was pretty good as well. Just being able to spot it up, throw it in different counts, just get ahead. And especially my curveball just get ahead, throw strikes and just do my thing.”

The Black Bears were supposed to play at home Friday evening, but that game was rained out. West Virginia returns home for four more scheduled home games.

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