BETHANY KEEPS PAC HOPES ALIVE WITH WESTMINSTER SWEEP
April 29 - BETHANY, W.Va. – Behind two superb pitching effort from junior Ryan Styche (Buena Vista, Pa./Elizabeth Forward) and freshman Ryan Meier (Elizabeth, Pa./Elizabeth Forward), the Bethany College baseball team kept its PAC Tournament hopes alive by sweeping Westminster Sunday 3-2 and 3-0.
The victories give the Bison a 15-20 overall record and a 9-12 mark in the PAC. Westminster dropped to 21-15 and 12-8 in the league with the defeats.
Westminster scored first in the opening game with a run in the initial inning, but BC responded with the first of three unearned runs in the last of that frame. With two outs, junior Brad Kubis (Aliquippa, Pa./Hopewell) singled, took second on a wild pitch and while moving to third on another wild pitch, was able to score on a throwing error.
Bison starter Styche and Titan hurler Patrick Mulligan kept the offenses in check for the next two innings before Bethany went ahead for good in the fourth. With two outs, freshman Dan Weller (Millersville, Md./Old Mill) walked and senior T.J. Zarewicz (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Hills) singled. Sophomore Dominic Controguerra (Richmond, Ohio/Edison) then bunted for a base hit and a Westminster error on the play allowed Weller to score the go-ahead run.
In the sixth, BC added on an important insurance run when sophomore Dylan Wassel (Elizabeth, Pa./Elizabeth Forward) stroked a two-out RBI single to score Kubis. That run proved meaningful, as Westminster mounted a threat against the Bison closer Kubis in the seventh. A two-out RBI single put the tying run on base and a balk moved him into scoring position, but Kubis closed the door on his sixth save of the year with a grounder to shortstop and the Bison had a 3-2 victory.
In addition to notching the save, Kubis also led the offense by going 3-for-3 and scoring twice. Styche earned the win on the mound, as he didn’t allow a run after the first and went six innings. He allowed one run on six hits and struck out four to raise his record to 4-4 for the year.
Solo runs in the first, second and sixth innings proved to be more than enough for Meier and the Bison in game two. In the first, sophomore Juls Leto (McKees Rocks, Pa./OLSH) hit a leadoff single and later scored on a two-out RBI single by junior Chuck Ziants (Moundsville, W.Va./John Marshall). Then in the second, Weller led off with a single and he came around to score when Leto dropped a two-out single into left field for a 2-0 BC lead.
The Titan offense had one highlight and that was a one-out single by Ethan Yeager in the second inning. That would be their final hit of the game, as Meier silenced the Westminster bats the rest of the game. A Bison error in the second put two runners on with two outs, but it was the last time a Titan reached second base in the game. He also walked three, but the final free pass came in the fourth inning.
The Green and White’s third run of the game scored in the sixth when Wassel tripled to start the inning and senior Anthony Packer (River Vale, N.J./Pascack Valley Regional) lofted a sacrifice fly to center to make it 3-0. Meier did the rest, as he retired the Titans in order in the seventh and set down the last 11 batters he faced. He finished the day with three punchouts and raised his record to 5-1 this year.
For the Bethany offense, Leto was 2-for-3 with one RBI and one run scored and Ziants had a pair of singles.
The Bison are now off until next Friday when they open a crucial three-game series with Thiel at Bethany Park in a single, nine-inning game at 4 p.m. Bethany and Thiel both have 9-12 records and the winner of the series will stay alive for a spot in the PAC Tournament.