May 4 - BETHANY, W.Va. – After losing an early 5-0 lead, the Bethany College baseball team scored two runs in the eighth inning to come away with an 8-6 victory over Thiel in the Bison’s final home game of the season Friday afternoon.
With the triumph, Bethany kept their hopes for a spot in the PAC Tournament. Now at 16-20 overall and 10-12 in the PAC, BC is chasing Waynesburg (11-11) and Saint Vincent (11-11) for the final berth in the league playoffs. The Bison will travel to Thiel Saturday for a doubleheader at 1 p.m., while Saint Vincent will play two games at Grove City and Waynesburg will host Westminster for a twinbill.
In the opening inning, BC struck for four runs. Junior Chuck Ziants (Moundsville, W.Va./John Marshall) singled in the initial run and an error made it 2-0 Bethany. The final runs were tallied on an RBI double by sophomore Dylan Wassel (Elizabeth, Pa./Elizabeth Forward) and a run-producing base hit from freshman Dan Weller (Millersville, Md./Old Mill). In the third inning, Weller tacked on his second RBI with a sacrifice fly that brought in freshman Derek Miller (Rayland, Ohio/Linsly), which made it 5-0 BC after three innings.
The fourth inning began with a solo home run by Bill Roosa and three Bison errors opened the door for the Tomcats (16-22, 9-13) to score four more times to even the score at 5-5. Thiel would return the favor in the fifth inning when a pair of miscues allowed the Green and White to go in front following an RBI fielder’s choice by sophomore Dominic Controguerra (Richmond, Ohio/Edison).
The long ball tied the score again in the seventh when TC’s Ryan Dixon swatted a solo blast to left to make it 6-6. Bison junior starter Ryan Styche (Beuna Vista, Pa./Elizabeth Forward) gutted through seven innings before Bethany went to the bullpen. Senior T.J. Zarewicz (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Hills) retired the Tomcats in order in the eighth to give his team a chance to take the lead in the bottom of the frame.
Senior Anthony Packer (River Vale, N.J./Pascack Valley Regional) opened the eighth inning with a walk and moved to second on a wild pitch. Following a ground out and another walk, Miller bounced a single through the left side that chased home Packer for the go-ahead run. Bethany managed to add on one more score with a bases loaded wild pitch to increase the lead to 8-6.
That run would not be necessary, as junior closer Brad Kubis (Aliquippa, Pa./Hopewell) notched two pop ups and a tapper back to the mound in the ninth to nail down his seventh save of the season. Zarewcz picked up the win to even his record at 1-1 after Styche battled through seven frames and allowed six runs, four earned, on six hits.
Bethany collected 11 hits in the contest, including two each for Packer, who also scored twice, Ziants, who knocked in one and scored one, and Miller. He scored a pair and had one RBI to give him a team-leading 31 for the season.