April 26 - CRESTVIEW HILLS, Ky. – The Bethany College baseball team held early leads in both games against Thomas More Saturday, but couldn’t hold off the PAC-leading Saints, who rallied for 7-3 and 14-6 victories over the Bison.
Bethany (9-25-1, 1-9) built up a 2-0 lead in the first game with solo runs in the third and fourth innings. Freshman RF Mike Pegg (Uniontown, Pa./Laurel Highlands) hit a sacrifice fly for the initial run and senior 2B Anthony Talotta (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Hills) squeezed home the second run in the fourth.
Thomas More used two solo home runs in the fourth to tie the game at 2-2, but BC moved in front again in the fifth on a sacrifice fly by junior 3B Chris Jeffers (Woodsfield, Ohio/Monroe Central). That would be the last run for the Bison in the game and the Saints used a two-run home run in the fifth and a three-run blast in sixth to take the lead for good.
Jeffers was one of three Bison to total two hits in game one and he also had one RBI and scored a run. Also gathering multiple hits were freshman CF Tyler Dillinger (White Oak, Pa./McKeesport) and junior 1B Milton Joyner (Pittsburgh, Pa./Westinghouse).
On the mound, junior Josh Eckelberger (Beaver, Pa.) threw his first complete game of the season, but saw his record fall to 1-5. He gave up seven runs on eight hits and struck out five in eight innings.
The Bison raced out to a 4-0 lead after three innings in game two and kept the lead until the Saints erupted for 14 runs over their final three innings. BC plated a run in the second when freshman 2B Eric Fudala (Uniontown, Pa./Laurel Highlands) reached on an error, stole second and scored on an RBI single from Joyner. In the third, the lead grew to four runs when Pegg and Dillinger laced back-to-back doubles and Fudala drove in a run with a single.
BC freshman starter Brett Mazine (Monaca, Pa.) scattered four hits and held the Saints scoreless through five frames, but a one-out bunt single opened the flood gates in the sixth. Thomas More pushed six runs across in the inning, but a Bison error kept the inning alive and made three of the runs unearned.
Bethany trimmed the Saints lead to 6-5 in the seventh on an RBI single by Pegg, but TMC scored four times in the seventh and added four more in the eighth. The Bison rounded out the scoring in the ninth on an RBI single by sophomore catcher Chris Leasure (Stafford, Ohio/Monroe Central).
Pegg finished the game with two hits and a pair of RBIs, while Leasure had three of BC’s 12 hits. Mazine’s record fell to 2-5 after he threw 5 2/3 innings and gave up six runs, while striking out two.
The Bison’s final week of the season begins Monday with a non-conference doubleheader at Pitt-Greensburg, which is make-up of an April 13 rainout.