GRANVILLE, W.Va – The Black Bears needed some late-inning magic again Sunday, using a three-run ninth inning to come back and win 3-2 in walk-off fashion against Williamsport for the second day in the row.
“It’s fun, it really is. It’s fun. We’re always taught to compete until the last pitch. And that’s what we’ve done a good job of doing that last two games,” said Nick Patten.
Patten delivered the winning single in the bottom of the ninth, using the same bat the three other Black Bear hitters before him had used to reach base.
Matt Gorski’s bat, swung by Patten with two outs and a runner on third, hit the pitch just softly enough to allow the Black Bears first baseman to leg out an infield single while the winning run crossed home plate.
“Triolo broke his bat. And then Gorski gave it to him, he hit a double. Gorski used it and he hit a single. And I was like, you know what, I’m going to use it too. And it ended up working out. So, it was the lucky bat today.”Nick Patten, WV Black Bears first baseman
The winning single came with the Black Bears down to their final out.
“Well obviously winning is better than losing. So, that’s first and foremost. But I think those are big. We talk about finishing, we talk about playing for all 27 outs. Outs are our most valuable resource that we have. So as long as we have one left, as long as we grind out our at bats, and swing at stuff that we can hit hard, we get a chance to do that,” manager Drew Saylor said.
West Virginia starter Noe Toribio was excellent on the mound Sunday. He threw five innings of shutout baseball, allowing just one hit and striking out seven. He recorded a strikeout in each of his five innings, including setting down the side in order on strikes in the third.
“Well obviously the fastball and breaking ball were working off one another really well. He was able to feather in his changeup. And so I think for him, he was in that area a lot, there were some early actions early swings. He’s able to stay down in the zone a little bit. And I think that’s what allowed him to really utilize all three of his weapons.”
The Black Bears have picked up a flair for the dramatic over the last few days, and hope to keep the momentum going as they begin a six-game road swing to start the month of July.
The team returns home July 7th, and will play six straight at Mon County Ballpark against Auburn and Aberdeen.