BETHANY’S OFFENSE COMES ALIVE IN SWEEP OVER PITT-GREENSBURG
March 20 - BETHANY, W.Va. – The Bethany College baseball team took advantage of numerous opportunities Tuesday to post 25 runs in sweeping a twinbill from visiting Pitt-Greensburg by scores of 13-10 and 12-3.
The wins snapped a five-game losing skid and raised BC’s record to 3-5 overall, while the Bobcats fell to 8-10.
The Bison had more first inning issues in the opening game, as UPG scored four runs to take a quick lead. Bethany answered with two runs in the last of the first inning, one coming on a ground out by junior LF Dylan Wassel (Elizabeth, Pa./Elizabeth Forward) and the other off a Bobcat error. Pitt-Greensburg would expand their lead to 8-2 with four more tallies in the second inning.
The wild start to the game continued with six Bethany runs to tie the game in the second. The first run crossed on a wild pitch, junior 1B Brad Kubis (Aliquippa, Pa./Hopewell) and Wassel drew bases-loaded walks, a fielder’s choice scored another run and the final two came home when junior DH Chuck Ziants (Moundsville, W.Va./John Marshall) roped a single to center and a fielding error allowed the tying run to come home.
UPG’s Gio Schiano led off the third inning with a homer, but then the game settled down until the fourth. Ziants smacked an RBI double to left-center and senior RF Anthony Packer (Rover Vale, N.J./Pascack Valley Regional) brought home a pair with another double to give BC an 11-9 lead. That margin swelled to 13-9 in the bottom of the sixth when junior pinch-hitter Matt Paonessa (Niagara Falls, N.Y.) tripled in two runs.
Pitt-Greensburg scored once in the seventh and brought the tying run to the plate, but sophomore Zac Edmiston (California, Pa.) induced a game-ending ground out to finish off his first career save, as he threw the final two innings. Freshman Harrison Rightmyer (Wyomissing, Pa,./Wilson) stabilized the early troubles and earned his first career win by throwing three innings in relief.
The Bison bats posted 10 hits in the decision, including two each for Kubis, Ziants and Packer.
Bethany again fell behind in the first inning of game two when UPG scored once in the first. But a four-run outburst in the third inning and a late surge allowed the Green and White to finish off the sweep. In the third frame, a Kubis ground out brought in the initial run and with two outs, freshman CF Derek Miller (Rayland, Ohio/Linsly) belted a three-run homer to left field to give BC the lead for good.
The Bison tacked on one run off a double play in the fourth inning, then saw Pitt-Greensburg get back in the game with solo tallies in the fifth and sixth innings to make it a 5-3 BC lead. Bethany put the game away by using two Bobcat errors to erupt for seven runs. The big blow of the inning was a two-run double by sophomore 2B Dominic Controguerra (Richmond, Ohio/Edison) and RBI were also collected by Ziants, Wassel, sophomore 3B Juls Leto (McKees Rocks, Pa./OLSH) and freshman SS Jordan Kennedy (Nemacolin, Pa./Carmichaels).
The BC bats once again had 10 hits, including two apiece for senior catcher T.J. Zarewicz (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Hills) and Wassel, who both scored two runs, as well as Leto and Controguerra. Miller and Ziants also scored a pair of runs each in the victory.
Bethany used three pitchers to get through the contest. Freshman Tyler Kurtz (Jerusalem, Ohio/Barnesville) started and threw three innings, allowing one run on four hits. Freshman Will Clarkson (Huntington, Pa.) tossed 1+ innings and picked up the win. Freshman Ryan Meier (Elizabeth, Pa./Elizabeth Forward) then fired three innings to earn the save and struck out six, including three called third strikes in the seventh to cap the win.
The Bison hope to use the momentum from Tuesday in their upcoming PAC series with Grove City this weekend. Bethany will play at GCC Friday for a single game before hosting the Wolverines Saturday for a doubleheader at 1 p.m.