April 26 - BETHANY, W.Va. – After hitting a leadoff double, junior DH Alex Evans (Washington, Pa.) scored the winning run on an error to give the Bethany College baseball a 4-3 victory in nine innings over visiting Franciscan Tuesday afternoon at Bethany Park.
The start of the game was delayed 30 minutes because of rain and there was a 30-minute rain delay in the middle of the ninth inning because of a heavy shower as well. Because of projected bad weather for the evening, the second game of the scheduled doubleheader was canceled.
The first inning saw fortunate breaks on both sides that led to runs. With two outs and runners on second and third, Franciscan’s Luke Starre brought in two when he hit a ball that glanced off the glove of a leaping BC freshman Anthonie Farrar (Carmichaels, Pa.) at third base for a 2-0 Barons lead.
In the bottom of the first, junior 1B Nate Tieman (Hilliard, Ohio/Hilliard Darby) was hit by a pitch and sophomore SS Brad Kubis (Aliquippa, Pa./Hopewell) walked with one out. Junior catcher T.J. Zarewicz (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Hills) then bounced a chopper just inside the bag at first base and it turned into a two-run triple. Freshman RF Dylan Wassel (Elizabeth, Pa./Elizabeth Forward) followed with a sacrifice fly for a 3-2 Bethany lead.
That was it for the offenses for the next four innings. Bethany senior starter Josh Lawrence (Mather, Pa./Jefferson-Morgan) blanked Franciscan over the next two innings and freshman Chris Bittinger (Weirton, W.Va./Weir) followed with consecutive scoreless frames. Meanwhile, Baron starter Daniel Brink did not allow a Bethany hit over the next four innings.
In the sixth, the Barons scratched out the tying run with two walks and a single to knot the score at 3-3. The Bison had a chance to win the game in the seventh when senior LF Mike Pegg (Uniontown, Pa./Laurel Highlands) beat out an infield single, Bethany’s first hit since the opening inning, and two walks loaded the bases, but a fly out to right field sent the game into extra innings.
Following the rain delay after Franciscan’s at-bat in the ninth, Brink was lifted after throwing eight innings and allowing just three runs on three hits. Reliever Stephen Darrenkamp was greeted rudely by Evans, who nearly won the game with a home run but settled for a double off the wall in left. Senior 2B Eric Fudala (Uniontown, Pa./Laurel Highlands) then dropped a sacrifice bunt, but the throw to first was off and Evans sprinted home for the winning run and Bethany snapped its five-game losing streak.
The Bison pulled out the win despite managing just four hits with Zarewicz leading the way with a double, triple and two RBIs. The BC pitching staff had a stellar day, starting with Lawrence, who gave up two runs on five hits and struck out three in three innings. Bittinger gave up one run on one hit and was followed by sophomore Ryan Styche (Beuna Vista, Pa./Elizabeth Forward), who did not allow a hit and struck out two in one and two-thirds innings.
The victory was picked up by senior Adam Nyswaner (McDonald, Pa./South Fayette), who struck out two and did not allow a hit in two innings of work. He is now 2-0 this season and has yet to allow an earned run in 10 2/3 innings this season.
Bethany will be back on the diamond Wednesday when it hosts Geneva in a single, non-conference tilt at 4 p.m.