Mohawk Bowl, baseball-style, heads to the big house for game three championship

GRANVILLE, W.Va. – Morgantown defeated University High 6-4 to force game three in the Class AAA Region I series. Game three will be played at Monongalia County Ballpark at 5 p.m. Wednesday.

Monongalia County Commission President Tom Bloom thanked Leighann Sainato, West Virginia Black Bears General Manager, for working with the commission and schools to make game three in the ballpark a reality.

Leighann Sainato said, “This is an amazing opportunity for our organization and the community. The Black Bears have always supported our local high school baseball teams, and we are excited to partner with the Monongalia County Commission and West Virginia University in hosting this game. We take pride in showcasing the best baseball in the region at The Mon, and to be able to do this on a local level with University High and Morgantown High is truly an honor.”

As a former employee of Monongalia County Schools, Bloom had difficulty containing his excitement for what the students would experience.

“This is one of the best parks in the country,” Bloom said. “They’ve watched WVU and the Black Bears, and they would really like to be a part of being on that field.”

University High School Athletic Director Jeff Bailey is also excited for the opportunity and the lasting memory this will be for players, families, and friends.

“It’s a great opportunity, not just for our student athletes and our school, but also for Morgantown High School and their student athletes and the whole community,” Bailey said.

Bailey said the Hawks are already undefeated at the Monongalia County Ballpark after a 9-00 shutout of Shaler Area (Pa.) on a stellar pitching performance by Gabe Jansen.

“We had the opportunity this year already once to play,” Bailey said. “We played a very good Pennsylvania power in Shaler and had a great, great day when they were having that tournament there at the Monongalia County Ballpark.”

According to Bloom, each team will get to practice two hours before the game, and families will be able to watch. Bloom added that this could be a good tune-up for the final games played on the turf of GoMart Ballpark in Charleston.

“One of the other things is that it’s an all-AstroTurf field, and I hear they play that down in Charleston,” Bloom said. “So, this preparation would be fantastic.”

Bloom said this will be a night when history is made for both teams. Additionally, he said it will be a night for aspiring younger players to begin their journey through the baseball system.

“I can’t tell you what it means to the families, to the kids, and to the other kids playing in the smaller leagues wanting to come watch their family members and friends play for the teams they’ll be playing for five or 10 years down the road,” Bloom said.

Bailey said tickets will be available for purchase at the ballpark prior to the game.