West Virginia Black Bears

The West Virginia Black Bears are a collegiate summer baseball team of the MLB Draft League. They are located in Granville, West Virginia, and play their home games at Monongalia County Ballpark, which is across the Monongahela River from Morgantown and West Virginia University. From 2015 to 2020, they were a Minor League Baseball team of the New York–Penn League. They were the Class A Short Season affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates from their inception until MLB's reorganization of the minors after the 2020 season.[1]

West Virginia Black Bears
Team logo Cap insignia
Minor league affiliations
ClassCollegiate summer (2021–present)
Previous classesClass A Short Season (2015–2020)
LeagueMLB Draft League (2021–present)
Previous leagues
New York–Penn League (2015–2020)
Major league affiliations
TeamUnaffiliated (2021–present)
Previous teamsPittsburgh Pirates (2015–2020)
Minor league titles
League titles (2)
  • 2015
  • 2022
First-half titles (1)
  • 2022
Team data
ColorsBlack, gold, blue, white
       
BallparkMonongalia County Ballpark (2015–present)
Owner(s)/
Operator(s)
Bob Rich, Jr. (Rich Baseball Operations)
General managerLeighann Sainato
ManagerJedd Gyorko

In August 2014, it was announced that the Jamestown Jammers would cease operations and move to Morgantown.[2] On October 22, the team announced that they would be named the "Black Bears" following a fan vote, as the American black bear is the state animal of West Virginia.[3] Other finalists included Black Diamonds, Canaries, Coal Kings, Coal Sox, Energy, Moonshiners, Muskets, Wild Ones, and Wonder.[4]

In January 2015, Wyatt Toregas was named as their inaugural manager.[5] The Black Bears won the New York–Penn League wild card in their inaugural season.[6] The team then defeated the Williamsport Crosscutters and the Staten Island Yankees to win the 2015 New York–Penn League Championship.[7] On February 24, 2022, Leighann Sainato was named General Manager.[8]

Roster

Players Coaches/Other

Pitchers

  • -- Cam Baumann
  • 48 Mitch Bratt
  • 27 Logan Clayton
  • 17 John Czeslawski
  • 29 Ray Ray Douglas
  • 16 Kevin Dowdell
  • -- Lane Flamm
  • -- Logan Freeman
  • -- Michael Hobbs
  • -- Madison Jeffrey
  • -- Carlos Lomeli
  • -- Zach Ottinger
  • -- Ben Probst
  • 30 Kobe Robinson
  • -- Joshua South
  • -- Mason Studstill
  • -- Ethan Sund
  • -- Drew Talley
  • 25 Trevor Tietz
  • -- Trent Vietmeier
  • 51 Jeffrey Wilson
  • 58 Ga'Von Wray

Catchers

  • -- Paul McIntosh
  • 62 Tucker Mitchell
  • 37 Caleb Taylor
  • -- Max Wright

Infielders

  • -- Tyler Doanes
  • 44 Eli Hammell
  • -- Grant Hussey
  • -- Christian Lucio
  • -- Garrett Martin
  • 12 Jesse Pierce
  • 31 Kaeber Rog
  • 6 Trey Romay
  • -- Tevin Tucker
  • -- Vytas Valincius
  • 13 Jeron Williams

Outfielders

  • -- Amari Bartee
  • -- Austin Davis
  • 55 Lake Fisher
  • -- Damone Hale
  • -- Garrett Spain
  • 19 Cooper Swanson
  • 7 Jason Thomas


Manager

Coaches

  • 26 Jake Hale
  • 22 Mike Weatherford


7-day injured list

~ Development list
# Rehab assignment
∞ Reserve list
‡ Restricted list
§ Suspended list
† Temporarily inactive list
Roster updated February 16, 2020
Transactions
→ More rosters: MiLB  MLB Draft League

Season-by-season record

West Virginia Black Bears (New York–Penn League)
YearRegular seasonPost-season
RecordWin %FinishRecordWin %ResultMLB
201542-34.5532nd Pinckney Division4-1.800Won Semifinals vs. Williamsport Crosscutters, 2–1
Won Championship vs. Staten Island Yankees, 2-0
Pirates
201638-38.5003rd Pinckney DivisionDid not qualify for playoffsPirates
201740-35.5333rd Pinckney DivisionDid not qualify for playoffsPirates
201832-44.4215th Pinckney DivisionDid not qualify for playoffsPirates
201940-36.5262nd Pinckney DivisionDid not qualify for playoffsPirates
2020--NoneSeason cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemicPirates
Totals192-182.5064-1.800

MLB Draft League

SeasonWLTFinish
2021301962nd

References

  1. "Black Bears retain affiliation with MLB, are founding member of Major League Baseball Draft League". West Virginia Black Bears. Minor League Baseball. November 20, 2020. Retrieved November 20, 2020.
  2. Vingle, Mitch. Morgantown lands NY-Penn League baseball team. Charleston Gazette. Retrieved August 25, 2014.
  3. "New NYPL club to be called the Black Bears: Team also decides to identify primarily with state of West Virginia". MiLB.com (Press release). Rich Baseball Operations. October 22, 2014. Retrieved October 22, 2014.
  4. Vote to name new Morgantown team MiLB.com
  5. Biertempfel, Rob (January 15, 2015). "Pirates Notebook: Assignments Finalized". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
  6. Heneghan, Kelsie (September 7, 2015). "Bears seal NYPL Wild Card in first season". MiLB.com. Retrieved September 21, 2015.
  7. Zimm, Tyler (September 15, 2015). "Black Bears Claim NYPL Championship". West Virginia Black Bears. Retrieved September 21, 2015.
  8. "Leighann Sainato named General Manager of the West Virginia Black Bears". Minor League Baseball. February 24, 2022.
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