March 24 - BETHANY, W.Va. – The Bethany baseball team started PAC play Tuesday on a down note, as 20th-ranked Thiel swept a twinbill at Bethany Park by scores of 10-5 and 9-0.
The Tomcats (13-3, 5-0) jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning and then added three more in the fourth. The visitors blew the game open with five runs in the sixth inning, including a three-run homer from 1B Justin Scarpitti, to swell their lead to 10-0.
The Bison (1-7, 0-2) used a pair of Thiel errors to get on the board in the sixth. Two miscues early in the frame helped load the bases and freshman DH Bryce Patterson (McKeesport, Pa.) hit a two-run double to left-center that scored sophomore CF Tyler Dillinger (McKeesport, Pa.) and junior LF Mark Cummins (Manahawkin, N.J./Southern Regional). The final run of the frame scored when freshman RF Matt Hartig (McKeesport, Pa.) grounded out to bring home freshman 2B Chad Stephen (Barnesville, Ohio).
Bethany closed the scoring with two runs in the seventh on an RBI triple by Cummins and a ground out by Dillinger. BC finished with six hits in the game, led by Dillinger, who was 2-for-4.
Senior Josh Eckelberger (Beaver, Pa.) threw the first 5+ innings and took the loss on the hill to fall to 1-2.
In the nightcap, Thiel rode a strong pitching effort from Josh Russell to the 9-0 win. The Tomcat sophomore limited the Bison to three hits and struck out four in recording the complete game shutout. Patterson roped another double for BC’s lone extra-base hit in the game, while junior Chris Leasure (Stafford, Ohio/Monroe Central) had a single and stolen base.
Bethany was done in by Thiel’s ability to score with two outs. The Tomcats used a sacrifice fly in the first to take a 1-0 advantage. They scored three more in the third and put the game away with five runs in the sixth, with all eight runs coming after two outs had been recorded.
Bison sophomore Robert Erickson (Saugus, Calif./Chaminade College Prep) was shouldered with the loss after pitching five and a third innings. He allowed six runs, five earned, on just five hits, but walked five and struck out two.
Bethany will be back on the diamond Thursday for a non-conference tilt with Muskingum. First pitch at Bethany Park is scheduled for 1 p.m.