MORGANTOWN — The West Virginia Black Bears are two weeks into their season and are off to an inconsistent start.
Morgantown Post 2 is off to a spectacular start in American Legion baseball, sitting at 18-3 with a potent offense that shows no signs of slowing.
But there are more boys of summer from the Morgantown area taking the field in the next few weeks, a welcomed addition to the Monongalia County baseball community, according to WesMon President J.R. Fisher.
WesMon, which rebooted two years ago, gained a Little League baseball charter last year with the help of former president and current Morgantown High athletic director John Bowers.
Now a charter member of Little League, WesMon can compete in summer tournaments and work its way through the state, regional, national and international levels — ending during the Little League World Series, in August, in Williamsport, Pa.
While those aspirations are a ways off, the WesMon 10-year-old all-star team will play for a shot in the state tournament June 29, against Bridgeport, in Grafton.
WesMon’s 11- and 12-year-old all-star teams are also competing in sanctioned postseason tournaments, while the 8-year-olds are using pitching machines and 9-year-olds play in coach-pitched “special” games.
All-star tournaments — in the early stages — allow players from certain areas to see how they stack up against others in their state, and WesMon wants to pilot Morgantown and Westover into that arena.
“It’s a good opportunity for kids who have practiced and played all summer to play against other parts of the state and see how they match up,” Fisher said. “We’re trying to get the community behind our teams because the kids deserve it. It’s a good chance for the kids and their parents to go out and have fun.”
The 10-year-old group won the first two games of its seven-team local bracket, which stacks it up to face Bridgeport with a shot at the state tournament on the line.
For a league that took a two-year hiatus after Little League merged into one with Morgantown Pony League, WesMon has thrived since returning to Westover, in spring 2016. With the help of businesses, Westover Mayor Dave Johnson and a group of dedicated administrators, WesMon now has over 700 kids in baseball and softball.
“WesMon hasn’t taken one person, business or city. It took sponsors and parents bringing their kids to games every day to make this happen,” Fisher said. “There are people that work on the fields, in concession stands and other things that they don’t get credit for. This takes a strong effort.”
Fisher also credits the original board — Bowers, Gary Cain and Rick Hillberry — for getting WesMon back on its feet.
“They got this thing going and we’re rolling pretty strong right now,” Fisher said.