May 6 - GREENVILLE, Pa. – With the top four batters in the order totaling 11 hits and scoring seven runs and senior Zac Grayson (McKeesport, Pa./South Allegheny) throwing seven strong innings, the Bethany College baseball team claimed the opening game of its conference series with Thiel Friday by an 11-4 score.
The Bison (12-20, 5-13) sprinted out to a 7-0 lead by the fifth inning, which was before the Tomcats managed a hit off Grayson. Bethany scored a pair in the first on RBI singles by sophomore SS Brad Kubis (Aliquippa, Pa./Hopewell) and freshman RF Dylan Wassel (Elizabeth, Pa./Elizabeth Forward). The margin doubled to 4-0 in the third on an RBI double by junior catcher T.J. Zarewicz (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Hills) and a sacrifice fly from Wassel.
A passed ball in the fourth inning brought BC sophomore CF Alex Evans (Washington, Pa.) home for a 5-0 lead and senior LF Mike Pegg (Uniontown, Pa./Laurel Highlands) stroked a two-run double in the fifth to expand the Bethany lead to 7-0. Grayson was coasting through four innings, as he retired 10 straight after a runner reached on an error in the first. He gave up his first hit in the fifth, but retired the next two batters to get out of the inning.
Thiel finally reached Grayson for one run in the sixth and two more in the seventh to make it a 7-3 score. The Bison put the game away with a run in the eighth and three more tallies in the ninth. Kubis picked up his second RBI of the day with a single in the eighth. A pair of errors by Thiel helped BC with their final surge in the ninth. One Tomcat miscue brought Evans home and the other runs were chased in by singles from junior 1B Nate Tieman (Hilliard, Ohio/Hilliard Darby) and Zarewicz.
The top four batters in the Bethany order set the stage for the win. Senior 2B Eric Fudala (Uniontown, Pa./Laurel Highlands) had one single and scored twice, while Tieman and Zarewicz posted identical lines of 3-for-5 with two runs scored. Zarewicz also drove in a pair and Tieman had one RBI. Kubis posted his initial four-hit game of the season by going 4-for-6 with two RBIs. Wassel and Pegg both collected two RBIs and Evans had a pair of hits and scored twice.
Grayson had one of his bigger days of the season on the hill. He tossed seven innings to improve to 3-4 this season and allowed three runs on seven hits whiles striking out two and walking one. Senior Adam Nyswaner (McDonald, Pa./South Fayette) threw a scoreless frame in the eighth and freshman Chris Bittinger (Weirton, W.Va./Weir) finished out the game with one strikeout in the ninth.
Bethany will complete the series with Thiel Saturday when the Tomcats come to Bethany Park for a 1 p.m. doubleheader.