BISON LEAD SLIPS AWAY AS GENEVA TAKES SWEEP IN FLORIDA
March 12 - FORT PIERCE, Fla. – The Bethany College baseball team lost two late leads in the second game, as Geneva rallied to sweep a twinbill from the Bison by scores of 7-3 and 8-7 Monday to complete their PAC series in Fort Pierce, Florida.
The Bison looked to be in control of the second game with a 6-1 lead after five frames. Three runs came in the second on a single by freshman CF Derek Miller (Rayland, Ohio/Linsly), a single by senior 1B Nate Tieman (Hilliard, Ohio/Hilliard Darby) and a ground out by sophomore 3B Juls Leto (McKees Rocks, Pa./OLSH). After Geneva (5-5, 2-1) scored once in the fourth, BC (1-2, 1-2) tacked on three more runs in the fifth. One came in on a single by junior SS Brad Kubis (Aliquippa, Pa./Hopewell) and two came across on a double by sophomore LF Dylan Wassel (Elizabeth, Pa./Elizabeth Forward).
A bout of wildness struck the Bison bullpen in the sixth and Geneva took advantage with five runs, all coming with two outs. Three walks and a hit batter brought in a pair of runs and the game was tied when Geneva catcher Adam Scheiderer drilled a bases-loaded double to score a trio of runs.
Bethany regained the lead in the bottom of the sixth, due in part to a walk as well. Miller drew a one-out base-on-balls, stole second, took third on a ground out and was brought home by an infield single from Leto. But more wildness from the BC arms resulted in a pair of Geneva runs in the top of the seventh. A double and single started the inning and then a throwing error brought in the tying run. That was followed by a walk, a hit batter and a wild pitch to allow the go-ahead run to cross the plate. The Bison had one last chance in the seventh but were retired in order and Geneva secured the sweep.
The opening game saw the Bison struggle to generate offense and the Golden Tornadoes hit balls that found holes. Bethany needed only one hit to take a 2-0 lead in the first, as Wassel walked with the bases loaded to score one and the other run came across with a wild pitch. Geneva pecked away at the Bison after that, scoring once in the second and twice in the third, fifth and sixth innings to take a commanding lead. The final BC run came in the sixth when junior pinch hitter Matt Paonessa (Niagara Falls, N.Y.) hammered an RBI double.
Bethany was limited to just three hits in the first game, with one each by Paonessa, Leto and senior catcher T.J. Zarewicz (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Hills). Junior Ryn Styche (Beuna Vista, Pa./Elizabeth Forward) started and took the loss on the mound, allowing five runs on six hits in four and two-thirds innings.
The BC bats posted nine hits in the nightcap by nine different players. Leto and Wassel each had two RBIs, while Miller had a single, stolen base and scored twice. The starting pitcher was freshman Ryan Meier (Elizabeth, Pa./Elizabeth Forward), who had a solid debut. He also went four and two-thirds innings, allowing one run on seven hits while striking out three and walking just one. Senior Alex Evans (Washington, Pa.) suffered the loss out of the bullpen.
Bethany will take a couple days off before getting back to work, as they will take on Delaware Valley Thursday in a doubleheader at 12 p.m.