March 8 - BASE at W&J (Game 1 - L, 4-2, Game 2 - W, 4-2), MLAX vs. Defiance (W, 20-3), MBB vs. Juniata (L, 78-59); March 9 - BASE at W&J (L, 10-3)
BETHANY RIDES OFFENSE TO SWEEP OVER FRANCISCAN
April 14 - BETHANY, W.Va. – After scoring 26 runs in a sweep over Pitt-Greensburg Monday, the Bethany College baseball team scored 30 times, including 14 runs in one inning in game two, to claim a pair of wins over Franciscan Wednesday by scores of 11-3 and 19-16, which ran their winning streak to five games.
The Bison (15-9) found themselves in a 2-0 hole after the top of the first in the opener, but answered with a run in the bottom of the inning when three straight singles was capped by an RBI base hit from freshman 3B Brad Kubis (Aliquippa, Pa./Hopewell).
After being held scoreless in the second, BC ripped off five runs in the third and managed at least one tally in every frame the rest of the way. Sophomore catcher T.J. Zarewicz (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Hills) started the barrage with a leadoff triple and scored on an RBI single by junior CF Tyler Dillinger (McKeesport, Pa.). Kubis put Bethany in front for good with a two-run single and the final two scores came on RBI singles from junior 2B Eric Fudala (Uniontown, Pa./Laurel Highlands) and senior LF Mark Cummins (Manahawkin, N.J./Southern Regional) to give the Green and White a 6-2 advantage.
The Barons (6-18) scored once in the fourth inning, but the Bison put the game away with five runs in their final three at-bats. In the fourth, they tacked on two with an RBI double from sophomore Anthony Packer (River Vale, N.J./Pascack Valley Regional) and a run-scoring single from Kubis, then added a pair in the fifth when Dillinger hit a sacrifice fly and sophomore 1B Nate Tieman (Hilliard, Ohio/Hilliard Darby) singled in a run. The final run was notched in the sixth when Cummins knocked a double to left-center to bring in the 11th run.
Bethany finished with 15 hits in the game, led by Kubis, who was 3-for-4 with four RBIs, while Tieman went 3-for-3 and scored a trio of runs and Cummins was 2-for-3 with a pair of RBIs. Earning the win on the mound was junior Mike Kochman (Pittsburgh, Pa./Serra Catholic), who improved to 2-3 after he threw the first five innings and allowed three runs on nine hits. Freshman Zach Kozlowski (Pittsburgh, Pa./Baldwin) finished up with two perfect innings of work.
Game two saw Bethany fall behind again and it take a nearly historic inning to give BC the victory. Franciscan jumped out with three runs in the first, which the Bison responded to with three runs as well, two coming on Baron errors sandwiched around a Kubis RBI double.
Franciscan would go back in front in the second with three runs and pushed three more across in the fourth to seize a 9-3 advantage. The Bison clipped two runs off the deficit in the fourth on an RBI single by freshman SS Ryan Owens (Gibsonia, Pa./Pine-Richland) and infield single from Cummins. The margin would grow again in the fifth when the Barons scored four times and took a 13-5 lead to the bottom of the fifth.
Bethany’s fifth inning was jump-started by a pair of Franciscan errors, with the second miscue allowing the initial run of the frame to score. The next batter was Fudala, who cracked a two-run homer to left for his first long ball of the season. On the next pitch, freshman DH Matt Paonessa (Niagara Falls, N.Y.) slammed his first career home run to left, which prompted a pitching change. Senior RF Chris Leasure (Stafford, Ohio/Monroe Central) greeted the new hurler by hammering the first offering out of the park for his fifth jack of the season and 21st of his career, which made it 13-10 Barons.
The inning was just getting started for the Green and White, as they scored nine more times. Dillinger had a huge inning, as he ripped a two-run double and capped the onslaught later with a triple that brought two more home. In between, junior catcher Josh Lawrence (Mather, Pa./Jefferson-Morgan) hit a two-run single, with RBIs also coming on singles from Paonessa, Leasure and Tieman as the Bison scored 14 times, the most in one inning since they had 15 in the opening frame of a 29-5 rout over Pitt-Greensburg April 2, 2003.
The explosion of runs did not secure the win for the Bison, as they would have to hold off the Barons to complete the sweep. Franciscan scored once in the sixth and used three walks and one hit to get two runs in the seventh to trim the BC lead to 19-16. With the tying run at the plate, Bethany brought in their closer Kubis and he got a called third strike to finish off his 10th save of the year and give the win to Zarewicz, who raised his record to 5-2 after throwing an inning and a third of relief.
In scoring their most runs since a 20-1 victory over Cal Tech on March 9, 2006, there were numerous offensive stars, highlighted by Fudala going 4-for-4 with the home run and two RBIs and Dillinger driving in four with a pair of hits. In addition, Tieman had another three hits and scored three more runs, while Lawrence was 3-for-3 with two RBIs and three runs scored and Owens had two hits and scored three times.
The Bison hope to continue their roll into the weekend when they host Thomas More (15-9, 3-0) for a three-game series. The teams will match-up for a doubleheader Saturday and complete the set Sunday with a single, nine-inning contest.