March 30 - GREENVILLE, Pa. – The Bethany College baseball team opened PAC play Tuesday by splitting a twinbill at Thiel, as they nipped the Tomcats 5-4 in the opener before being shutout in the nightcap 5-0, which snapped a five-game Bison winning streak.
Freshman 3B Brad Kubis (Aliquippa, Pa./Hopewell) continued his stellar start to the year by stroking an RBI double in the first, which was followed by an RBI single from junior 2B Eric Fudala (Uniontown, Pa./Laurel Highlands). Kubis struck again with a two-run single in the third inning and the lead grew to 5-0 in the fifth when Fudala singled with two outs, stole second and scored on a single by senior Chris Leasure (Stafford, Ohio/Monroe Central).
Making his first collegiate start, BC freshman Zach Kozlowski (Pittsburgh, Pa./Baldwin) kept Thiel off the scoreboard through four innings by allowing just two hits. The Tomcats used two Bethany errors to score three times in the fifth and two more Bison miscues in the sixth led to another tally that brought the home team within one at 5-4.
Kubis came on in the seventh to try to shut the door, but two singles put runners on the corners with two outs. But the freshman got a fielder’s choice for the final out and pick up his seventh save, which ties the Bethany single-season record originally set by Ian Edwards in 2005. He also led the Green and White at the plate with his two hits and three RBIs.
Other contributors with the bat included Fudala, who was 3-for-4, and sophomore RF Anthony Packer (River Vale, N.J./Pascack Valley Regional) hit a single and double and scored twice.
In the nightcap, the Bison were unable to solve Thiel starter Josh Russell, who tossed a three-hit shutout and struck out 11. The Tomcats scored three runs, although only two were earned, off junior starter pitcher Mike Kochman (Pittsburgh, Pa./Serra Catholic). He did not give up another run in the next three innings, but TC added solo runs in the fifth and sixth innings to put the game away.
The Bison will be back in action Friday when they travel to Washington & Jefferson Friday for a 3 p.m. game. The teams will square off again Saturday at Bethany Park in a doubleheader to close out the three-game series.