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West Virginia Black Bears Announce 21-Man Opening Day Roster

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Morgantown native Caleb Taylor while playing for Potomac State baseball. (Photo via @PotomacStateBB on Twitter)

The West Virginia Black Bears have announced their 2021 Opening Day roster. The 21-man roster is made up of draft-eligible college players and high school seniors. The roster includes three high school seniors, 15 college underclassmen and three college seniors.

Morgantown native Caleb Taylor makes his hometown roster as one of two catchers following his second season at WVU Potomac State. Pitcher Mitch Bratt and infielder Eli Hammill are both high school seniors from Canada and members of the Canada Junior National Team. There is one pair of teammates on the roster, with infielders Jake Reinhardt and Ranko Stevanovich both coming from Division-III North Park University.

Pitchers

  • LHP Mitch Bratt (Newmarket HS – Newmarket, Ontario)
    • High school senior from Canada who is committed to Florida State and a member of the Canada Junior National Team. Fastball, curveball, changeup mix.
  • RHP Logan Clayton (College of Central Florida)
    • Redshirt-sophomore made 19 appearances with five starts for the Patriots this season. Went 2-1 with one save and a 4.86 ERA. Recorded 51 strikeouts in 37 innings.
  • RHP John Czeslawki (North Iowa Area CC)
    • Freshman committed to UNC-Charlotte. Appeared in nine games with four starts for the Trojans this season. Went 1-2 with one save with a 10.03 ERA. Struck out 25 batters in 23 1/2 innings. Fastball, slider, changeup mix.
  • RHP Ray Ray Douglas (Des Moines Area CC)
    • A COVID-freshman, pitched 4 2/3 innings this season for the Bears. Allowed five earned runs with eight strikeouts and eight walks in four appearances. Fastball, curveball, changeup mix.
  • LHP, OF Kevin Dowdell (Calhoun CC)
    • A two-way player also capable of playing in the outfield. Committed to WVU in November. Fastball, slider, changeup mix and a left-handed hitter at the plate.
  • RHP Kobe Robinson (Chattanooga State CC)
    • A COVID-freshman, pitched 54 innings this season across nine appearances (four starts). Went 403 with a 3.50 ERA and had 60 strikeouts.
  • RHP Trevor Tietz (Jefferson College)
    • A redshirt-sophomore, pitched 11 1/3 innings this season with a 6.35 ERA. Fastball, changeup, slider mix.
  • RHP Jeffrey Wilson (Pensacola State)
    • Freshman, made 14 appearances for the Pirates this season. Pitched 22 1/3 innings with a 1.61 ERA and 34 strikeouts.
  • RHP, 3B/OF Ga’von Wray (Douglasville HS – Douglasville, Georgia)
    • High school senior committed to Tennessee. A two-way player who also plays outfield and third base. Fastball, curveball mix and bats right-handed.

Position Players

  • C Tucker Mitchell (State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota)
    • A sophomore who transferred from Florida Atlantic and is committed to N.C. State. Played in 52 games this season hitting .382 with 20 doubles, nine home runs and 55 RBI.
  • C Caleb Taylor (WVU Potomac State College)
    • A COVID-freshman from Morgantown. Batted .414 with 14 doubles, nine home runs and 62 RBI in 43 games this season.
  • 2B/SS Eli Hammill (Holy Trinity Catholic HS – Oakville, Ontario)
    • A high school senior from Canada who is committed to Utah and is also a member of the Canada Junior National Team. A switch-hitter who plays either middle infield spot.
  • 3B Jesse Pierce (Grayson College)
    • A freshman from Las Vegas, Nevada. Played in 45 games this season and hit .253 with seven home runs and 32 RBI.
  • 2B/3B Jake Reinhardt (North Park University)
    • A redshirt-senior from Division III North Park University. Hit .424 in 41 games this season with 11 doubles, seven triples, 15 home runs and 61 RBI.
  • SS Kaeber Rog (Eastern Florida State College)
    • A sophomore switch-hitter who transferred from Florida International. Hit .354 in 32 games this season with 12 doubles, 18 RBI and 22 runs scored.
  • SS Trey Romay (Elmhurst University)
    • A senior who batted .333 this season with 18 doubles, eight home runs and 37 RBI. Led his team in hits (54), doubles, runs (40) and OPS (1.051).
  • INF Ranko Stevanovich (North Park University)
    • A redshirt-senior who played third base and catcher for North Park. Hit .355 in 41 games this season with 31 doubles and 36 RBI.
  • SS Jeron Williams (Lincoln Trail)
    • A freshman who hit .276 with 32 RBI and 34 runs scored in 53 games this season.
  • OF, P Lake Fisher (Eastern Florida State)
    • A two-way COVID-freshman at EFSC. Hit .298 with 12 homes runs and 34 RBI in 40 games this season and also had a 0.96 ERA with 12 strikeouts in 9 1/3 innings on the mound.
  • OF Cooper Swanson (Florida State)
    • A junior from Florida State. A career .195 hitter across 90 games. Hit seven home runs in 2018-19.
  • OF Jason Thomas (Hillsborough CC)
    • A redshirt-freshman who hit .265 in 28 games this season. Had seven extra-base hits and 12 RBI.

The roster is expected to change throughout the season as the college season and more high school seasons come to an end and more players are added to the league. The biggest roster shake-up is expected to happen after the MLB draft this summer when drafted players can be removed from the Draft League by their respective organizations.

The Black Bears will open their inaugural season in the MLB Draft League Monday night at home against the Mahoning Valley Scrappers.

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Cody spent the last two years getting his master's degree in journalism from WVU. He graduated from Slippery Rock University in 2018 with a degree in digital media production. He was born and raised in Mercer, Pennsylvania.

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