BISON OFFENSE COMES ALIVE IN TIME TO TAKE SPLIT AT W&J
April 7 - WASHINGTON, Pa. – After being held without a hit through the first four innings of game two, the Bethany College baseball team pushed five runs across in the fifth and added another late to rally for a 6-3 win at Washington & Jefferson to salvage a split of their PAC doubleheader Saturday.
The Bison (8-14, 5-10) dropped a 10-4 decision in the opener to the Presidents (16-3, 7-2), who took two out of three in the series over the weekend.
The home team took a 2-0 lead in the nightcap on a two-run double by Kyle McLain. W&J’s game two starter Randall Risch was cruising early, as he retired the first 11 batters he faced before two straight walks in the fourth inning. But Bethany played small ball in the fifth to ignite their rally. Freshman 3B Dan Weller (Millersville, Md./Old Mill) bunted for a single to lead off the frame and after senior catcher T.J. Zarewicz (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Hills) was hit by a pitch, both runners were sacrificed over.
Sophomore 2B Dominic Contrugeurra (Richmond, Ohio/Edison) singled in Weller for the first BC run. Controguerra then stole second and the throw went into center field, allowing Zarewicz to come home to tie the score at 2-2. Junior LF Alex Evans (Washington, Pa.) hit a fielder’s choice that scored Controguerra, senior RF Anthony Packer (River Vale, N.J./Pascack Valley Regional) singled in a run and freshman CF Derek Miller (Rayland, Ohio/Linsly) lofted a sacrifice fly that capped the inning with Bethany in front 5-2.
After W&J’s runs in the first, Bison freshman starter Ryan Meier (Elizabeth, Pa./Elizabeth Forward) settled in and didn’t allow another run. The Presidents mounted a two-out rally in the sixth by loading the bases against Meier, but junior closer Brad Kubis (Aliquippa, Pa./Hopewell) was brought in and induced a comebacker to the mound for the final out.
In the top of the seventh, Bethany added an insurance run when Evans lofted a fly ball to center that got past the W&J outfielder and rolled to the wall. Evans sprinted all the way around for an inside-the-park home run and a 6-2 BC advantage. W&J did score once off Kubis in the seventh, but he finished off the win with a pair of ground outs to earn his second save of the year. Meier picked up the win to move to 2-1 this season, as he went five and two-thirds innings and held the Presidents to two runs on seven hits while striking out five and walking two.
The Bethany offense was efficient, as all four of their hits led to runs. Evans finished the game with two RBI, two runs scored and a stolen base and Controguerra also drove in one, scored once and swiped a bag.
In the first game, W&J scored seven runs late in the game to blow open a tight contest for the 10-4 win. The Presidents used two walks to fuel a three-run outburst in the third inning, but the Bison answered with one run in the fourth. An error on a fielder’s choice put Miller on second base and after he took third on a wild pitch, Weller hit a sacrifice fly to left for a 3-1 W&J lead after four innings.
In the fifth inning, W&J plated five runs, highlighted by a two-run homer from Ronny Peirish. They tacked on a pair of runs in the sixth inning before Bethany closed the scoring in the seventh. Sophomore pinch-hitter Tanner Werkmann (Germantown, Md./Poolesville) belted a two-run double and he later scored on a ground out by senior 1B Nate Tieman (Hilliard, Ohio/Hilliard Darby).
Bethany managed more hits in the first game, as Kubis had two of BC’s six hits, including a double and a single. The pitching loss was charged to freshman Tyler Kurtz (Jerusalem, Ohio/Barnesville), who threw four solid innings before running into trouble in the fifth frame.
The Bison are off until next Thursday when they travel to Mount Aloysius for a non-conference doubleheader at 3 p.m.