March 8 – WASHINGTON, Pa. – The Bethany College baseball team opened the 2014 campaign by earning a split with #21 Washington & Jefferson on Saturday. The Bison dropped game one 4-2, but rallied to take the second game by the same score.
In the opening game, Bethany would take an early 1-0 lead in the first inning after Jordan Ault (Jeannette, Pa./Jeannette) scored on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Derek Miller (Rayland, Ohio/Linsly).
W&J would tie things up in the bottom of the third inning, however, after Michael Ruffing scored on a wild pitch.
Just an inning later, the Presidents would take a 2-1 advantage when Nick Vento crossed the plate on a ground out by Ruffing.
W&J would add two more runs in the bottom half of the fifth inning to push their lead to three runs (4-1). Ronny Peirish singled and scored on a Tyler Schultz sacrifice fly and Vento followed with a RBI single which scored Kyle McLain.
The Bison would not go away, however, as Chris Koegel (Moon Township, Pa./Moon Area) would triple and score on a Miller groundout in the sixth to cut the deficit to two runs (4-2).
Then in the seventh inning, Bethany would look to steal one away from W&J, putting two runners on with only one out. The rally would ultimately fall short, however, as the Bison succumbed to the Presidents’ in the season opener, 4-2.
Offensively the Bison were led by Koegel, Dan Petrella (Coraopolis, Pa./Montour) and Miller. Kogel and Petrella both notched two hits each, while Miller registered two RBI’s.
Taking the loss on the mound was Ryan Meier (Elizabeth, Pa./Elizabeth Forward), who went five innings, allowing three earned runs and striking out two batters. Cody Gross (West Mifflin, Pa./West Mifflin) also worked one scoreless inning.
The second game saw the Presidents take an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. The damage could have been much worse, however, as Zak Kozlowski (Pittsburgh, Pa./Baldwin) worked out of a jam in which W&J had runners on first and third with no outs. With two runners on, Kozlowski struck out the next two batters he faced to get out of the inning and keep the game close.
The third inning would be a big one for the Bison, as they plated three runs to take a 3-1 lead. After Juls Leto (McKees Rocks, Pa./OLSH) led off the inning with a single, Zac Edmiston (California, Pa./California) would lace a double down the right field line, allowing Leto to score. Two batters later, Koegel would drive Edmiston home on a RBI ground out. The Bison would tack one more run after Miller reached on a triple and was brought home on a RBI single by Dylan Wassel (Elizabeth, Pa./Elizabeth Forward).
Bethany would add an insurance run in the following inning, after Dominic Controguerra (Richmond, Ohio/Edison) was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, allowing Edmiston to score.
The Presidents would cut the bison lead to just two runs (4-2) after they notched a run in the home half of the fifth inning.
That would be as close as W&J would get, however, as Bethany held on to capture a 4-2 victory to split the opening day festivities.
Kozlowski improved to 1-0 on the mound, registering four strikeouts and allowing just two runs. Petrella would go on to grab his first career save, working a scoreless seventh inning to preserve the win.
The Bison offense was led by Leto and Edmiston. Leto notched three singles and also scored a run. Edmiston went 1-3 on the day, driving in one RBI and also scoring a run. Controguerra and Koegel also added a RBI each.
The Bison will go for the series victory on Sunday, March 9, in Washington, Pa. First pitch is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.