March 15 - FT. PIERCE, Fla. – Sophomore T.J. Zarewicz (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Hills) threw a complete game in the opener and sophomore 1B Nate Tieman (Hilliard, Ohio/Hilliard Darby) had two hits and three RBIs in the nightcap to lead the Bethany College baseball team to 5-2 and 10-4 victories over Earlham Monday in the Bison’s season opening contests in Ft. Pierce, Fla.
The Green and White grabbed the lead in the top of the second of game one when sophomore RF Anthony Packer (River Vale, N.J./Pascack Valley Regional) stroked a leadoff double and scored on a double by freshman 3B Brad Kubis (Aliquippa, Pa./Hopewell). The lead moved to 2-0 on a double play later in the frame. A bout of wildness cost Zarewicz in the bottom of the second, as three walks and two wild pitches allowed Earlham to tie the game without the benefit of a hit.
Zarewicz regained his control and kept the Quakers hitless unless a bloop single to leadoff the fifth. He would also give up a single in the sixth, but both threats were killed off by double plays turned in by the BC infield, which helped keep the score knotted at 2-2 heading into the seventh.
Bethany finally regained the lead in the top of the seventh, as Packer singled, Kubis walked and after a force out on a bunt attempt, a walk loaded the bases. Freshman SS Ryan Owens (Gibsonia, Pa./Pine-Richland) pushed the go-ahead run across with a sacrifice fly and the Bison tacked on insurance runs with RBI singles by junior CF Tyler Dillinger (McKeesport, Pa.) and senior LF Mark Cummins (Manahawkin, N.J./Southern Regional).
There would be no threat from Earlham in the bottom of the seventh, as Zarewicz retired the side in order to finish off the complete game. He allowed just two runs on two hits while striking out four and walking three.
Game two also saw BC jumped out to a quick lead. In the bottom of the first, Owens walked with one out, raced to third on a single by Tieman and scored on a sacrifice fly by senior DH Chris Leasure (Stafford, Ohio/Monroe Central). In the second inning, a ground out by junior catcher Josh Lawrence (Mather, Pa./Jefferson-Morgan) scored one run and Tieman plated two with a bases-loaded single to increase the Bison advantage to 4-0.
The Quakers would answer back in the top of the third when four consecutive two-out hits scored three runs and brought Earlham within a run at 4-3. Bethany would keep the Quakers at bay when sophomore reliever Zach Grayson (McKeesport, Pa./South Allegheny) pitched a perfect fourth inning and BC scored solo tallies in the fourth on a Tieman fielder’s choice and an RBI single by Lawrence in the fifth to increase the margin to 6-3.
Earlham managed to score once in the top of the sixth to get within two, but the Bison put the game away with four runs in the last of that frame. Dillinger scored the first run on a wild pitch, which was followed by an RBI double from Leasure, an RBI single by Kubis and a fielder’s choice by junior RF Mike Pegg (Uniontown, Pa./Laurel Highlands). Bethany then escaped a base-loaded situation in the seventh to preserve the win and the sweep.
Tieman paced the Bison stick work with two hits and three RBIs, while Owens, Kubis and Lawrence all had two hits as well. The win on the mound went to Grayson, his first collegiate victory, after he threw two scoreless innings and struck out two.
Bethany will have Tuesday off before returning to the diamond Wednesday with nine-innings games against Earlham at 12:30 and Manhattanville at 4 p.m.