The Black Bears gather for a 10-6 win over Crosscutters in the MLB Draft League title match

Granville, W. Fa. – The West Virginia Black Bears needed their attack big as they played catch-up Tuesday against the Williams Sports Crosscutters in their first Major League Baseball title game.

When that happened, bowler Grayson Thurman took charge of making sure the home team would celebrate the finish at Wagner Field in Monongalia County Ballpark.

The Black Bear erased from 6-0 down and pulled up in the fifth inning at home, before Thurman scored the final at the top of the stranded sixth inning to keep the match underway.

West Virginia then jumped to the front forever with a sixth of four runs, and Thurman went on to hit each of Williamsport’s final nine strokes, giving Lynchburg a 10-shot in the 10 he faced to provide the Black Bears with control. Comfortable walk in their 10-6 win.

“Men only trust each other,” said Black Bears Director Jade Gyurko. “We’ve done it all year. We’ve been swinging bats all year and it was only a matter of time before we moved on. Guys were really good at bats and at that point, you kind of wait and hope you get a few hits here and there. We started stringing them together in that fifth inning, and they kept going. At work at six and Thurman shut the door.”

After Williamsport drove a pair of kicks in fifth on double Travis Holt, the Crosscats held the 6-0 lead by moving to the bottom of that inning.

The game started to move in favor of the Black Bears starting with Tyler Bosetti’s RBI double in fifth.

Ryan Hernandez drove in Positi and Maddox Houghton with a single cut the Crosscutters’ lead to 6-3, and although rookie bowler Garrett Wurf scored a second win with that three-point advantage, he was unable to finish the inning when Jack scored Elliot Single Hernandez and spelled End of the Wharf picnic.

“We have good hitters who make adjustments throughout the match,” said Gyurko. “That’s huge for guys. At this age, to be able to make those in-game adjustments it’s great the way they’ve done it. Seeing it two and three times and reviewing it a few times, we became more confident seeing what he was trying to do and putting good twists on it” .

Official Nick Meyer was immediately greeted by Robin Fonts’ two-stroke double that tied the match at 6.

Although Williamsport prevented more damage in fifth, the crosscutters were unable to reclaim the lead when Thurman hit Connor Denning to book two in the top of the sixth.

Williamsport came loose during the sixth inning at home.

Bosetti and Haughton both drew a rule on the balls, two runners in the scoring center and one outside, Hernandez made a deliberate walk carrying the rules.

Logan Matthew followed it up with a sharp single to the right and Turner scored Hal and Houghton, giving West Virginia their first lead, 8-6.

“It was one of those mill games and we had to keep going,” Gyurko said. “Even when it didn’t look good, we were grinding away and staying well at bat. The guys kept throwing punches and we were able to get past it.”

Mathieu scored later in the sixth half thanks to a coincidence, while returning the second of two fouls committed by Williamsport, condemning Fernandes to the net with the tenth round of West Virginia which proved to be the final goal-scoring match in the match.

Thurman, the winning bowler, scored all of his hits on the swings, except for the final of the seventh when he caught Zach Miller looking on.

West Virginia Black Bears band salutes their fans. Photo by Greg Carey /

Former West Virginia University player Zach Bravo began playing on the hill for the Black Bears, but was charged with four runs gained in six strokes more than two innings.

He was the first of four shooters used by the Black Bears, a number that Crosscutters match.

Nick Mayer took the loss after allowing one run in 1/3 of the inning.

Hutton led the Black Bears’ attack with three hits and two runs. Elliott and Bossetti added two hits each, while West Virginia finished 13.

“These kids deserve all the credit,” Gyurko said. “I’ve been here kind of watching baseball and doing my part when I can, but it’s always great to win the championship and it’s great to be able to do that here in front of the home fans.”

Taylor Jackson was the Williamsport 2-3 lead with a pair of doubles, three runs and two walks.

Denning added two hits, three runs and a pair of RBI in the defeat, while Holt was 2 for 4 and led in three runs.

The aforementioned trio, representing the top three Crosscutters in their lineup, provided all but two of the team’s eight hits.

West Virginia and Williamsport played in the title match with two record bests among six teams in the draft league. The Black Bears were 48-30, while the Crosscutters finished 44-31.

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