Black Bears drop debut 15-7 before standing-room-only crowd

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The West Virginia Black Bears, playing ball for the first time, packed the Monongalia County Ballpark with more than 3,000 fans Friday night despite rainy weather.

Its roster lined with young prospects beginning their Single-A short season, the Black Bears also played in front of Pirates owner Robert Nutting and general manager Neal Huntington.

Pat O’Conner, president of Minor League Baseball, joined the WAJR radio broadcast and called his fourth trip to Morgantown “a fabulous night.” He previously visited for the New York-Penn League’s announcement, returned for the October 2013 groundbreaking and visited once more during construction.

“Good to be back and see this project come to fruition,” he said. “To elevate this league in a city like this and a facility like this, it really is an impressive sight.”

The relocated Jamestown Jammers, who averaged only 758 fans last season, made their Morgantown debut before a standing-room-only crowd—some of whom were eager to see top Pirates prospect Tyler Glasnow on the mound.

Nevermind that Glasnow worked only 1 1/3 innings in a rehab start or that the Mahoning Valley Scrappers won 15-7. The Black Bears have 75 more games this season and a growing base of local fans.

Check out the photo gallery from opening night.

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