GRANVILLE

West Virginia Black Bears relief pitcher Brandon Bingel understands why Bradenton, Fla., is so attractive to tourists.

The beaches, parks and museums draw thousands of visitors each year. It’s a great place to be — unless you’re a minor-league baseball player in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization who did not make a full-season roster.

Then you’re stuck in an extended spring training camp there while your peers are in cities such as Charleston, Altoona, Pa., and Indianapolis working their way closer to a major-league roster spot in Pittsburgh.

Bingel, who was drafted in the 22nd round out of Bryant University in 2016, found himself in just such a situation in early April.

“Being in extended is not the best thing, but being there definitely makes you work a little harder,” he said. “You want to get out of there as soon as possible.”

Maintaining a positive attitude is paramount, Bingel said. The Pirates are looking for potential big-league players, not potential big-league mopers.

“Mentality is the biggest part, really, doing the same stuff every day,” Bingel said. “Now that we’re here [with the Black Bears], it’s the same stuff every day. You have to stay strong-minded and know what you are working for.”

Bingel debuted with the Black Bears a year ago, toiling out of the bullpen. He appeared in 16 games, recording four saves and compiling a 0-2 record and a 2.91 earned-run average (ERA).

“I think it went pretty well,” he said. “It didn’t end the way I’d like it to. All in all, it was a good first year for me.”

ingel did not pitch well down the stretch, as the long year of baseball, which began in late January when his college practices started, took a toll.

He participated minimally after reporting to the Pirates’ instructional league camp, in Bradenton, after the Black Bears’ season concluded in early September.

“At the end of last year, I got a little sore from college,” Bingel said. “We shut it down for instructs. I got back to spring training, and we were all good.”

Bingel experienced mixed results in his first two relief stints for the Black Bears this season. He’s given up only three hits, striking out three and walking none in three innings, but two of those hits left the ballpark.

He owned a 6.00 ERA heading into the three-game series at Mahoning Valley that began July 4.

He’s trying to follow the same advice he’s giving the Pirates’ latest crop of draftees who are making their debuts with the Black Bears this summer.

“Don’t get too up or too down based on your results,” he said. “You have to stay even-keeled and stay at the same level all the time. You can’t get too high after a good outing or too low after a bad one.”

The last thing he wants to do now is press to impress the Pirates’ brass and earn a promotion.

“I know I was drafted for a reason,” he said. “I try to let that speak for itself and go out and do what I’m supposed to do.”