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BISON CONTINUE EARLY SEASON SUCCESS WITH SWEEP OVER GENEVA
March 27 - BETHANY, W.Va. – The Bethany College baseball team improved to 8-1 on the young season after they beat visiting Geneva by scores of 4-2 and 6-3 Saturday afternoon in the Bison’s home opener at Bethany Park to finish off a sweep of the three-game weekend series.
In the first game, BC grabbed a 2-0 lead in the second inning. Freshman 3B Brad Kubis (Aliquippa, Pa./Hopewell) hit a leadoff single and took third on a single by senior DH Chris Leasure (Stafford, Ohio/Monroe Central), who moved to second on the throw. Both runners came home when senior LF Mark Cummins (Manahawkin, N.J./Southern Regional) shot a single through the right side.
The Golden Tornadoes (8-7) tied the score with a pair of runs off Bethany junior starter Zach Grayson (McKeesport, Pa./South Allegheny) in the third inning, but the Bison took advantage of a Geneva error in the fourth to regain the lead. Junior 2B Eric Fudala (Uniontown, Pa./Laurel Highlands) and Cummins singled around a strikeout and senior catcher Josh Lawrence (Mather, Pa,Jefferson-Morgan) grounded back to the mound. However, a throwing error by GT hurler Matt Baer allowed Fudala to score. That was followed by a sacrifice fly from freshman SS Ryan Owens (Gibsonia, Pa./Pine-Richland) to increase the Green and White margin to 4-2.
That was all the run support the Bison pitching staff needed. Grayson stranded a runner at first in the fifth and left a man at third in the sixth. Kubis entered in the seventh to shut the door and did with a strikeout and two ground outs to record his fifth save of the year. Grayson earned the win to improve to 2-0, as he went six innings and allowed two runs on seven hits with two strikeouts and one walk.
With the bats, Cummins’ two hits and two RBIs paced the way, while Kubis and Leasure both had two hits and one run scored.
The Bison would have to come from behind in the nightcap, as Geneva tallied one in the first and two unearned runs in the second for a 3-0 advantage. Following a slow start at the plate, Bethany struck for three runs in the fourth. Cummins started the rally with a walk and one out later, came around to score on Owens RBI double to center. The GTs would make a pitching change with two outs and sophomore 1B Nate Tieman (Hilliard, Ohio/Hilliard Darby) greeted the new pitcher by smoking the first pitch to center to plate Owens. The inning was capped when Kubis rolled an RBI single through the right side to even the score at 3-3.
Bethany seized the lead in the fifth without a base hit, as Cummins and Lawrence drew consecutive walks to begin the frame. Owens ground into a fielder’s choice that forced out Lawrence, but Cummins never stopped running and came all the way around to score the go-ahead run.
The Bison tacked on two insurance runs in the sixth to make it 6-3. With one down, junior 2B Anthony Packer (River Vale, N.J./Pascack Valley Regional) walked and Kubis doubled. That brought the infield in and junior RF Mike Pegg (Uniontown, Pa./Laurel Highlands) ripped a single past the shortstop into left field to balloon the BC lead to three runs.
That was all for the scoring, as Bethany sophomore starter T.J. Zarewicz (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Hills), who is now 3-0, settled down after the early trouble to go six innings and allow just one earned run on four hits and struck out five. Kubis got the call to close it out again and after allowing a pair of one-out singles, he retired the final two batters on a fly out to right and slow roller to first for his sixth save of the season, which is just one off the school’s single-season record.
Kubis was also clutch at the plate, going 3-for-4 with one RBI and one run scored, while Tieman had two singles.
Bethany will be back on the diamond Tuesday when they begin PAC action with a twinbill at Thiel at 1 p.m.