March 31 - WAYNESBURG, Pa. – The Bethany College baseball team lost a pair of tightly-contested games Saturday afternoon at Waynesburg, as the Yellow Jackets pulled out a 5-4 win in eight innings and then a 5-3 triumph in the second game to take the PAC series from the Bison.
The pitchers controlled the action early in the first game, with Waynesburg managing the only two base runners between the teams through the first three innings. Bethany (7-11, 4-7) finally had some action off Jacket starter Zach Kreke in the fourth. Sophomore DH Dylan Wassel (Elizabeth, Pa./Elizabeth Forward) brought two runners home with a single and that was followed by an RBI double from freshman CF Derek Miller (Rayland, Ohio/Linsly) and a sacrifice fly by senior RF Anthony Packer (River Vale, N.J./Pascack Valley Regional) to make it a 4-0 BC lead after four innings.
Waynesburg managed to score its first three runs off Bethany freshman starter Tyler Kurtz (Jerusalem, Ohio/Barnesville) in the fifth. Then in the sixth, a one-out walk proved costly to Bethany, as that runner eventually scored on a single to even the game at 4-4, which is where the game stood after seven innings and the game went to extra innings.
In the eighth, BC managed its first hit since the fourth frame, but stranded a runner at second. In the bottom of the eighth, Waynesburg used a leadoff single, balk and sacrifice to set the stage for the winning single by Adam Horning and the home team came away with a 5-4 victory.
The Bison were limited to just four hits in the loss. Kurtz took a no-decision after throwing five and a third innings and allowing four runs on six hits with three punchouts and two walks. Junior Brad Kubis (Aliquippa, Pa..Hopewell) suffered the loss after going two innings.
In the second game, Bethany again grabbed the lead first with two runs in the opening frame. A bases-loaded walk to Wassel plated one run and that was followed by a sacrifice fly from Miller. Bethany nearly added to their lead on a two-out single by sophomore DH Tanner Werkman (Germantown, Md./Poolesville), but a strong throw from the outfield gunned down a runner at the plate to end the inning.
The game one hero had a major impact in the second game as well, as Horning belted a three-run homer in the second inning to put the hosts in front 3-2. That lead grew to 4-2 in the fourth inning before Bethany tried to mount a comeback. In the sixth, a two-out Waynesburg error kept the inning alive and Werkmann made them pay with an RBI single to bring Bethany within a run at 4-3.
The Bison would give that run right back in the bottom of the sixth, as an error to start the inning led to an unearned Yellow Jacket run and a 5-3 BC deficit heading into the seventh. Bethany was unable to get the tying run to the plate, as they were retired in order and Waynesburg pulled out the win and the sweep.
Bethany managed seven hits in the nightcap, with senior catcher T.J. Zarewicz going 2-for-3 with a run scored and Werkmann also finishing with a pair of singles and one RBI. The pitching loss was charged to freshman Ryan Meier (Elizabeth, Pa./Elizabeth Forward), who started and went five innings, allowing five runs, four earned, on nine hits with two Ks and a pair of walks.
Next on deck for Bethany is a single, nine-inning game with Thomas More at home on Tuesday. The Saints took two from the Bison last week by scores of 11-7 and 5-1. First pitch at Bethany Park is slated for 3 p.m.