April 21 - BETHANY, W.Va. – An early 5-0 deficit proved to be too much for the Bethany College baseball team to overcome, as the Bison lost the opener of the three-game conference set with Saint Vincent by an 8-5 count Thursday at Bethany Park.
Defensive miscues played a big role in BC (9-11, 4-9) falling behind by five in the second inning. A two-out error in the first frame allowed two Saint Vincent (10-19, 2-11) runners to come home. With already one run home in the second, SVC’s Joe Aul took advantage of a slow throw to first with two outs and when he beat out the infield single, two more came home to put the visitors on top 5-0.
Bethany scored its first run in the last of the second when sophomore 3B Brad Kubis (Aliquippa, Pa./Hopewell), who was hit by a pitch to start the inning, raced home on a two-out RBI single from junior RF Anthony Packer (River Vale, N.J./Pascack Valley Regional). The teams swapped runs in the fourth, with Bethany’s coming on an RBI single from freshman DH Dylan Wassel (Elizabeth, Pa./Elizabeth Forward). However, another Bison error led to an unearned run in the fifth and the margin was up to 7-2.
In the bottom of the sixth, Bethany made their move. Three straight singles to open the frame, the last coming off Packer’s bat, plated one run. Later, with one out, senior CF Tyler Dillinger (McKeesport, Pa.) rolled another RBI single through the infield, but Packer was thrown out at the plate trying to score. A wild pitch sent the third run of the inning home and Bethany had trimmed the deficit to 7-5.
The Bison offense went quiet over the next two innings, managing just one runner on a Bearcat error. Saint Vincent tacked an insurance run on in the top of the ninth on a solo home run from Zach Galasso for an 8-5 spread. Singles by Dillinger and Kubis brought the tying run to the plate in the bottom of the ninth, but a fielder’s choice ended the chance and gave Saint Vincent the opening game.
Bethany matched the Bearcats with 11 hits in the game, led by a 3-for-4, two-RBI effort from Packer. Dillinger and junior 1B Nate Tieman (Hilliard, Ohio/Hilliard Darby) both had two hits and Kubis scored a pair of runs.
The loss on the mound was charged to sophomore Zak Kozlowski (Pittsburgh, Pa./Baldwin), who threw 4 1/3 innings and allowed seven runs, four earned, on eight hits while striking out five. Saint Vincent’s Gary Gerhardt threw a complete game for the win and struck out 10.
This recent string of rainy weather has wreaked havoc with Bethany’s schedule. The Bison will attempt to get their series in with Geneva next, beginning with a single game at home Friday and a doubleheader Saturday in Beaver Falls. The Bison will try to finish the series with Saint Vincent Monday, April 25, with a twinbill on the Bearcats’ home field.