By Ty Bartell

In the final game of the opening four game series over the weekend, The Mahoning Valley Scrappers and The West Virginia Black Bears battled in some MLB Draft League baseball on Sunday. The Scrappers gained control of the series, winning 7-1 on Saturday, behind some phenomenal pitching. The way Sunday started, it looked like Mahoning 
Valley would be up to much of the same. 

Starters Brennyn Abendroth (Mahoning Valley) and Ryan Schiefer (West Virginia) took to the mound for their respective teams. Both starters dueled in pitching a clean first inning, including Schiefer striking out the side to start. Working some walks in the bottom of the second, Mahoning Valley was able to strike for the initial lead off a wild pitch and a Dante Leach two RBI-single giving The Scrappers a 3-0 advantage. 

Abendroth struggled with his command in the top half of the third inning, walking two and allowing a single to load the bases with nobody out in the inning. Abendroth would strike out the next two in order before an additional walk issued to Black Bears catcher Justin Fogel got West Virginia on the board; however, Abendroth limited damage to a single run, preserving a 3-1 Mahoning Valley lead. 

Both teams pitched the next couple of innings cleanly, with new arms making appearances for both teams with Alex Pipes coming on for West Virginia and Cameron Bye for Mahoning Valley. The Scrappers added to their advantage in the bottom of the fifth off a Mason Sykes RBI-double, a wild pitch and a Colton Coates RBI-Single to double the offensive output in the game and take a 6-1 lead!

The following half inning, Black Bears nine hole hitter Tre Hondras delivered a big two-out two-run single to take two back from The Mahoning Valley lead, now 6-3 heading to the bottom of the sixth. After a scoreless bottom of the sixth, West Virginia struck again in the top of the seventh. Once again, coming with two outs in the inning, The Black Bears brought two more around to score off a Justin Fogel RBI-single and an error on DJ Butler coming within just a single run of The Scrappers. 

Mahoning Valley went quietly in the bottom of the inning and both teams posted zeros in the eighth. Then, in the top of the ninth, West Virginia tied the game up with one out in the inning on a potential double play ball that only got one. An error on the throw to first by DJ Butler allowed the tying run to score before Brody Fahr delivered in the clutch with a two-out RBI-triple to score Devyn Lopez from second and give The Black Bears their first lead 7-6. 

The Scrappers got the tying run on when Mason Sykes smacked his second double of the day and advanced to third off a wild pitch by new Black Bears pitcher John Bakke. However, Bakke would record a strikeout of Andreaus Lewis II to leave the tying run stranded 90 feet away and, more importantly, even the series up for West Virginia off the 7-6 win. 

Both The Black Bears and The Scrappers will have Monday off before starting their next series on Tuesday. West Virginia (2-2) will be home when they start a three game series against Williamsport (0-4) for their home opening series. Mahoning Valley (2-2) will hit the road for the first time this season, starting a three game set with The Frederick Keys (1-3) on Tuesday, June 6th. Catch The Scrappers next home game on Monday, June 12th where they will host The Frederick Keys.