April 28 - BETHANY, W.Va. – Down to its final strike, Geneva climbed back from the brink to score four times in the ninth inning and pull out a 16-14 victory over the Bethany College baseball team Thursday afternoon in a thriller at Bethany Park.
The roller coaster ride started in the first inning when Geneva (19-14) scored twice, but the Bison (10-16) answered with four runs in the last of the first. Senior 2B Eric Fudala (Uniontown, Pa./Laurel Highlands) had a two-run single during the frame and other RBIs were collected by junior catcher T.J. Zarewicz (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Hills) with a single and freshman LF Dylan Wassel (Elizabeth, Pa./Elizabeth Forward) on a double.
Bethany struck for two more runs in the second inning on an RBI fielder’s choice by Zarewicz and an RBI single from Wassel. Momentum swung back to the GTs with a five-run outburst in the third inning, highlighted by a three-run double from 1B Noah Medich. Geneva would tack on another tally in the fourth with a sacrifice fly and their lead stood at 8-6.
In the last of the fourth, BC seized back the lead with six runs, their biggest inning of the season. Wassel started the flurry of runs with a sacrifice fly and that was followed a short time later by a two-run single by sophomore DH Alex Evans (Washington, Pa.). Then with two outs and the bases loaded, senior CF Tyler Dillinger (McKeesport, Pa.) brought in three with a triple and the Bison led again 12-8.
The GTs chipped away with a pair of runs in the fifth and evened the score in the seventh inning with a two-run single from Mike Jeffreys. The score was still knotted going into the eighth when Bethany used some Geneva miscues to go back in front. Wassel reached on an error to begin the rally and took third on a single by junior 1B Nate Tieman (Hilliard, Ohio/Hilliard Darby). Evans then hit into a fielder’s choice, which scored Wassel and a throwing error on the play allowed Tieman to come all the way around to score for a 14-12 Green and White lead.
Bison sophomore closer Brad Kubis (Aliquippa, Pa./Hopewell) took the mound in the ninth and after giving up a run to make it 14-13, had Geneva down to its final strike with runners on first and third. But the roller coaster ride had one more downturn for Bethany, as Joel Gatti belted a two-run double to give the visitors the lead. A Bethany error on the next batter sent one more run home and in the bottom of the ninth, BC was retired in order, allowing Geneva to escape with the 16-14 win.
Bethany compiled 15 hits in the ballgame, led by junior RF Anthony Packer (River Vale, N.J./Pascack Valley Regional), who was 3-for-6 with two run scored. Wassel was in the middle of the action all day with two hits, three RBIs and two runs, while Dillinger posted two hits, three RBIs and two runs scored. Also collecting multiple RBIs in the contest was Evans with three and Fudala and Zarewicz with two apiece.
After taking Friday off, BC will be back in action Saturday afternoon with a PAC twinbill at Westminster beginning at 1 p.m.