MORGANTOWN — The West Virginia Black Bears announced Thursday the release of their 2022 preseason roster. Returning to the lineup from the 2021 Black Bears team are Zach Bravo (WVU), Ryan McCoy (Wabash Valley JC/Louisville), Zach Ottinger (WVU) and Joshua South (Belmont University).
The Black Bears also welcome the additions of two players from WVU: RHP Chase Smith and RHP Trey Braithwaite join fellow Mountaineers Bravo and Ottinger this summer.
Other 2022 Black Bears players making their return to the MLB Draft League include Sam Crail (St. Leo University) and Alec Burns (Gardner-Webb University). In 2021, Crail and Burns played for the Mahoning Valley Scrappers and the Williamsport Crosscutters, respectively.
A returning pitcher for the Black Bears, Zach Bravo held the record for most wins on the team (5-0). Bravo, who made nine appearances for the Black Bears in 2021, threw 20 strikeouts in 32 2/3 innings pitched with a 3.58 ERA — the lowest for a Black Bears pitcher with over 30 innings pitched. Bravo made five appearances for WVU, with two starts under his belt early in the Mountaineers’ season.
Ryan McCoy, an infielder from Wabash Valley College (a 2023 Louisville commit), returns to The Mon for his second season after a highly productive year with the Black Bears in 2021. Last season, McCoy batted .267 in 131 at-bats with 35 hits and 34 RBI. Known for his patience at the plate, the Illinois native finished the year with the most walks in the MLB Draft League (41).
No stranger to playing in front of a Morgantown crowd, West Virginia University’s Zach Ottinger also returns to the Black Bears. Ottinger made 12 appearances for the Bears last summer with 20 strikeouts in 14 innings pitched. For the Mountaineers, the righty has a 4.76 ERA through 5 2/3 innings pitched this spring.
Joshua South rounds out the returning Black Bears players this season. A junior at Belmont, South started seven games for the Bears in 2021 with a 3.86 ERA in 30.1 innings pitched. The right-handed pitcher from Cookeville, Tenn., has made five appearances for the Belmont Bruins this season with a 2-1 record.
West Virginia begins its season on the road at the Mahoning Valley Scrappers on June 2. Opening Day at Monongalia County Ballpark is June 7, as the Black Bears host the Frederick Keys. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. with fireworks and a magnet schedule giveaway. For more information on the schedule or promotions, visit westvirginiablackbears.com