April 20 - PAINESVILLE, Ohio – One day after scoring six runs in the last inning to beat Westminster, the Bethany College baseball team plated five runs in the sixth inning to rally for a 12-9 victory at Lake Erie (Ohio) College in game one of a non-conference doubleheader Sunday afternoon.
The Storm (12-21) recovered in the nightcap to claim a 10-3 victory over the Bison (9-21) to salvage a split.
In game one, neither team scored in the first before BC pushed four runs across in the second. RBI singles by sophomore DH Chris Leasure (Stafford, Ohio/Monroe Central) and freshman LF Jon Angel (Smithfield, Pa./Albert Gallatin) made it 2-0 and freshman CF Tyler Dillinger (White Oak, Pa./McKeesport) drove in a pair with a single. The lead didn’t last long because Lake Erie scored four times in the bottom of the second to even the score at 4-4.
The third inning brought more fireworks, as Bethany scored three times, which was answered by a pair of tallies from the Storm. The Bison’s runs came on a two-run homer from freshman catcher Erik Stumpf (Pittsburgh, Pa./Fox Chapel), the first of his career, and an RBI single from junior 1B Milton Joyner (Pittsburgh, Pa./Westinghouse).
BC kept their one-run lead until the fifth inning when Lake Erie scored twice to take an 8-7 advantage. The Storm were threatening for more but junior Scott Fraley (New Salem, Pa./Brownsville) came on to get a ground out to strand runners on second and third.
In the sixth, Bethany used two Lake Erie errors to spur on a five-run inning and build a 12-8 lead. Freshman 2B Eric Fudala (Uniontown, Pa./Laurel Highlands), junior 3B Chris Jeffers (Woodsfield, Ohio/Monroe Central) and freshman SS Nick Czapor (Liberty Boro, Pa./South Allegheny) knocked in one run each and two others came in off the Storm miscues.
Lake Erie made it a three-run game in the last of the sixth on a solo homer and then put runners on first and second with one out. That’s when sophomore Josh Lawrence (Mather, Pa./Jefferson-Morgan) entered from the bullpen and retired five straight to close out the contest and record his first career save for Fraley, who improved to 2-2 with the victory.
The Bison ripped 12 hits in the victory and also used four Lake Erie errors to score five unearned runs. Dillinger had two hits and a pair of RBIs, while Jeffers had two hits and scored three runs and freshman RF Mike Pegg (Uniontown, Pa./Laurel Highlands) collected two hits and came home twice.
The second game saw Bethany fall into a deep hole, as Lake Erie scored three in the first and six more in the second inning. The Bison managed a run in the fourth on Leasure’s fifth home run of the season and then two more in the fifth, one on a Leasure RBI single and another on a Storm error. The hosts completed the scoring with a run in the last of the fifth.
Bethany had their chances throughout the game, as they finished with 11 hits, but stranded 13 base runners in the game. Leasure had two hits and two RBIs to lead the action at the plate, while Dillinger, Pegg and senior 2B Anthony Talotta (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Hills) all had two singles apiece.
Czapor got the start on the hill and took the loss to go to 0-3 in the season.
The Bison return to the diamond Tuesday with a big PAC doubleheader against Washington & Jefferson at 12 p.m.