April 26 - FREDONIA, N.Y. – The Bethany baseball team battled regionally-ranked Fredonia State through a pair of tough games Sunday, but the Blue Devils came away with 6-5 and 10-6 victories over the Bison.
In the opener, BC rallied back after falling behind 4-0. Fredonia (25-7) scored twice in the first and third innings, but the Bison (3-28) trimmed one run off that deficit in the fourth when freshman 3B Anthony Packer (River Vale, N.J./Pascack Valley Regional) hit a leadoff double and later scored on a sacrifice fly by sophomore RF Mike Pegg (Uniontown, Pa./Laurel Highlands).
Bethany came back to the game at 4-4 in the sixth with three consecutive two-out hits. Freshman 1B Nate Tieman (Hilliard, Ohio/Hilliard Darby) singled with one out and he raced around to score on a double from junior DH Chris Leasure (Stafford, Ohio/Monroe Central). Pegg followed with another RBI double and sophomore 2B Eric Fudala (Uniontown, Pa./Laurel Highlands) stroked a single to score the tying run.
In the seventh, BC used small-ball tactics to take the lead. Freshman SS Chad Stephen (Barnesville, Ohio) was hit by a pitch to start the frame and took second on a sacrifice. Sophomore CF Tyler Dillinger (McKeesport, Pa.) hit a run-scoring single to give the Green and White their first lead of the day.
The Blue Devils mounted their own rally in the seventh with a double between two walks to load the bases and then a hit batter to force in the tying run. In the eighth inning, after the first batter was retired, Fredonia’s Joe Kephart blasted a walk-off home run to give the hosts the win.
Tieman was the lone Bison with multiple hits, as he went 3-for-4 with one run scored.
Bethany would also fall behind 4-0 in the second game and attempted to climb back into the contest but fell short in the end. They scored three times in the fourth to get within a run, as Fudala reached on an error to score one run, while Stephen doubled in one and freshman catcher Alejandro Texiera (Miami, Fla./Homestead) singled in another.
Fredonia’s lead ballooned to 8-3 with four runs in the fifth inning, but the Bison cut into that with three tallies in the sixth. Junior LF Mark Cummins (Manahawkin, N.J./Southern Regional) was credited with one RBI after he reached on an error, while the other runs were driven in on a ground out by Dillinger and a single by Tieman.
Although the Blue Devils scored twice in the sixth to run their margin to 10-6, the Bison tried to mount one more comeback. They put two runners on with one out in the seventh, but the final two batters popped up and grounded out.
Stephen and Texiera both went 3-for-4 and knocked in one, while Tieman completed a solid doubleheader with two more hits and one RBI.
Bethany will be back on the diamond Tuesday with a home non-conference doubleheader against LaRoche at 2 p.m.