March 28 - WASHINGTON, Pa. – A late rally fell just short in game one and Washington & Jefferson scored six times in the fourth inning to pull away and record a sweep over the Bethany baseball team Saturday by scores of 8-7 and 11-5.
In the opener, the Presidents (8-4, 2-0) looked to be in control with three runs in the first and four more in the third inning for a 7-0 advantage. The Bison (1-9, 0-4) started to chip away in the fourth inning when sophomore 2B Eric Fudala (Uniontown, Pa./Laurel Highlands) grounded out to bring home sophomore CF Tyler Dillinger (McKeesport, Pa.), who walked to start the frame and moved to third on a double from freshman SS Chad Stephen (Barnesville, Ohio).
In the fifth, Bethany clipped three more off the deficit with one swing. After sophomore 3B Matt Nemec (New Brighton, Pa./Riverside) and sophomore RF Mike Pegg (Uniontown, Pa./Laurel Highlands) singled to start the inning, freshman catcher T.J. Zarewicz (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Hills) cashed them in with a three-run homer to right to move BC within three at 7-4.
W&J tallied an important insurance run in the fifth, but the Bison made one more charge in the seventh. Pegg doubled with one out, took third on a Zarewicz single and scored on junior LF Mark Cummins’ (Manahawkin, N.J./Southern Regional) RBI single. With two outs, a wild pitch moved the runners into scoring position. Stephen came through with a two-run single to right to bring BC within a win at 8-7. Bethany couldn’t get the tying run however, as a flyout to centerfield ended the contest.
The Green and White offense collected eight hits in the setback, with Zarewicz leading the way by going 2-for-3 with three RBIs and two runs scored. Stephen (2-for-4, two RBIs) and Pegg (2-3, two runs) also had multi-hit games. On the mound, senior Josh Eckelberger (Beaver, Pa.) settled after a rough start to go all six innings. Six of the eight runs allowed were earned and the Bison right-hander struck out six.
In the second game, Bethany jumped out first with a run off an error in the first inning. The Presidents bounced back with a run in the last of the first, but the Bison went back in front in the third. Dillinger hit a leadoff single, took third on a single by Fudala and crossed the plate on a sacrifice fly by junior 1B Chris Leasure (Stafford, Ohio/Monroe Central) for a 2-1 BC margin.
W&J moved in front for good with two runs in the third and then erupted for six in the bottom of the fourth. Their efforts were aided by a pair of Bethany errors, which led to three unearned runs in the inning. The Presidents extended their lead to 10-2 with another tally in the fifth.
Bethany did score three more times in the contest, once on a solo home run by Nemec in the sixth and then a pair of runs in the seventh. One came home on a wild pitch and the other scored on an RBI single by freshman DH Matt Hartig (McKeesport, Pa.).
Fudala was the only BC player to collect two hits in the game. The pitching loss went to sophomore Robert Erickson (Saugus, Calif./Chaminade College Prep). He threw three and a third innings and gave up seven runs, five earned, and walked four while striking out three.
Bethany and W&J will try to close out their three-game series Sunday with a single nine-inning game at Bethany Park. First pitch is slated for 1 p.m.