March 29 - BETHANY, W.Va. – The Bethany College baseball team could not overcome a nine-run second inning in the first game and then were stymied by Thomas More ace Paul Uhl in the nightcap, as the Bison were swept by the 19th-ranked Saints 14-5 and 5-2.
In the first game, Thomas More scored one run in the first inning and put the first two runners on in the second. A Bethany error on a sacrifice bunt attempt opened the flood gates, as six of the next seven Saints banged out hits and the visitors went on to score nine times in the inning for a 10-0 lead.
The Bison did respond with four runs, all with two outs, in the bottom of the second. Freshman SS Taylor Fortney (Houston, Texas/Spring Woods) rolled a two-run single through the left side for the first tallies. Senior CF Tyler Dillinger (McKeesport, Pa.) beat out a bunt hit for the next run and the final Bison came home when junior RF Anthony Packer (River Vale, N.J./Pascack Valley Regional) was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.
Bethany struck for another run in the third on an RBI ground out by junior 1B Nate Tieman (Hilliard, Ohio/Hilliard Darby). But it would be the final run of the game for BC and Thomas More put the game away with four in the fifth frame to account for the final 14-5 margin.
The Bison were held to six hits in the game, with junior catcher T.J. Zarewicz (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Hills) posting a single and double. On the hill, freshman Zac Edmiston (California, Pa.) started and took the loss after throwing 1+ innings. Senior Adam Nyswaner (McDonald, Pa./South Fayette) turned in his longest outing since his sophomore season when he tossed 2 2/3 scoreless innings.
The nightcap had a similar start, as TMC scored once in the first inning for a 1-0 lead. Bethany senior starter Mike Muklewicz (Bridgeport, Ohio) then blanked the Saints over the next three innings and the Bison were finally able to post a run off Thomas More’s Uhl in the fourth. Sophomore 1B Brad Kubis (Aliquippa, Pa./Hopewell) reached on an error, was sacrifice to second and Zarewicz singled through the right side to make it a 1-1 game after four innings.
It would not stay deadlocked long, as the Saints scored two runs in the fifth and used a two-run homer from catcher Andrew Clements in the sixth to extend their lead to 5-1. The Bison trimmed the deficit to 5-2 in the seventh when Dillinger crushed a solo home run to straight-away center field, but the final two batters were retired and Uhl finished the complete game.
Bethany’s bats managed only five hits, with Dillinger turning in a double and his long ball. Muklewicz fell to 0-3 on the mound despite limiting Thomas More to three runs and four hits in 4 1/3 innings.
The Bison are off until Friday when they host Grove City in a single, nine-inning game to open the conference series. First pitch at Bethany Park is scheduled for 3 p.m.