BETHANY HANGS ON FOR 8-6 WIN TO CLOSE OUT FLORIDA TRIP
March 19 - FT. PIERCE, Fla. – The Bethany College baseball team built a 7-0 lead and used four double plays, including two in the final two innings, to hold on for an 8-6 triumph over Delaware Valley Friday in the final game of their spring break trip.
The win improved BC’s record to 5-1 on the trip, their best mark on a spring break since they went 6-2 in 2005.
The Bison stole a run in the first to take the lead. Junior CF Tyler Dillinger (McKeesport, Pa.) hit a leadoff single, stole second and took third on freshman SS Ryan Owens’ (Gibsonia, Pa./Pine-Richland) single. With two outs, Owens swiped second, which allowed Dillinger to sprint home for the double steal and a 1-0 BC lead.
Owens would also play a big role in Bethany’s next two runs. In the third, Dillinger stroked a leadoff triple and was chased home when the Bison shortstop singled back up the middle. Then in the fifth, senior LF Mark Cummins (Manahawkin, N.J./Southern Regional) walked to start the frame and eventually scored on another RBI single by Owens. Later in that same inning, freshman 3B Brad Kubis (Aliquippa, Pa./Hopewell) hit a two-out RBI single to score sophomore 2B Anthony Packer (River Vale, N.J./Pascack Valley Regional) to make it 5-0 Bison.
Bethany increased their margin again in the seventh inning with a big two-out hit. After the first two batters were retired, Kubis singled and sophomore 1B Nate Tieman (Hilliard, Ohio/Hilliard Darby) walked. Senior DH Chris Leasure (Stafford, Ohio/Monroe Central) brought both across the plate by blasting a triple to right-center to swell the cushion to 7-0.
Benefiting from the run support was sophomore starting pitcher T.J. Zarewicz (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Hills). He blanked the Aggies (5-3) on three hits through the first six innings but Del Valley finally managed a run in the seventh on an RBI ground out. Zarewicz avoided further trouble by stranding a runner at third base after he got a strike out, his eighth of the game, and a ground out to close out the inning.
The Aggies climbed back into the game in the eighth, as six straight hits and a hit batter made it 7-5 with the bases loaded and no one out. Kubis, who gave up the final hit and the hit batsman, escaped the jam by getting a double play grounder that scored one and a strikeout to keep BC in front 7-6.
Bethany tacked on an important insurance run in the top of the ninth. Junior 2B Eric Fudala (Uniontown, Pa./Laurel Highlands) cracked a leadoff double and later scored when Tieman lined a single to left. That run looked even bigger when Del Valley started their half of the ninth with a hit batter and a single to put runners on the corners with on one out. Kubis would bear down again, getting a swinging third strike for the first out. The next batter hit a one-hopper that Kubis leaped in the air to spear and he started a game-ending 1-6-3 double play to record his third save of the trip and improve Zarewicz’s record to 2-0 on the season.
In addition to his work on the mound, Kubis also led the Bison at the plate with three hits, one RBI and one run scored. Owens also had three hits and drove in a pair, while Leasure had two hits and two RBIs and Dillinger was 2-for-5 with a pair of runs scored.
The Bison now return north and will be back in action Friday, March 26 when they travel to Geneva for the first game of a three-game series. Bethany is schedule to host Geneva Saturday the 27th in a doubleheader for their home opener at 1 p.m.