Black Bears rally past Muckdogs in 9th

Contributed Story Posted 26 July 2019 at 9:11 am

Contributed Photo –  The patience the Miami Marlins have shown with lefty Julio Frias is paying off. He threw six strong innings Thursday and left with his team ahead, 3-1. The Muckdogs fell, 4-3. 

MORGANTOWN, W. Va. – The race for first-place in the Pinckey Division of the New York-Penn League got interesting on Thursday night as West Virginia scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth to down the Batavia Muckdogs, 4-3.

Batavia is now in first place at 24-16 and West Virginia is 21-17, taking 2-of-3 from the Muckdogs.

Batavia returns home for three games Friday, Saturday and Sunday against Williamsport.

A bright spot for the Muckdogs was the pitching of Julio Frias, who pitched six strong innings, striking out six, five of them in the first three innings.he gave up four hits, one run and walked two.

Frias, 21, was signed out of Boca Chica, Dominican Republic by the Miami Marlins. The Marlins were patient with the young 6-foot-2 lefty, giving him two years with the Dominican Summer League Marlins and two years with the Gulf Coast League Marlins.

During that time, Frias, who started his career at 16, went 3-15 with an ERA close to five.

However, this season with Batavia, Frias is 3-1 with a 1.73 ERA and he has struck out 50 in 41.2 innings with 12 walks and 25 hits.

Batavia took a 1-0 lead in the second when Milton Smith II scored on a mild pitch with two outs, then West Virginia tied the game at 1-1 in the third.

In the top of the fifth, Nic Ready, crushed his 21st double of the season to left scoring J.D. Orr then Smith II then singled to left scoring Ready for a 3-1 lead.

In the bottom of the ninth, a sacrifice fly tied the game and a single by Nick Patten to score Matthew Fraizer won the game for West Virginia.

Orr forced two balks of West Virginia pitchers while he was on the bases with his unique leading style. He had the hit and walked three times and it now hitting .375 on the season. he also stole his 20th base of the season

Smith II had two hits a RBI (his 15th) and a run. Ready’s RBI was his 23rd on the season.

Andrew Turner had two hits for the Muckdogs while Dalvy Roasario and Jack Strunc also had hits.

M.D. Johnson had his fourth hold on the season, going 0.2 innings and Geremy Galindez had his first hold pitching 1.1 innings of perfect baseball with one strickout. Evan Brabrand took the loss, he is now 2-1 on the season.