March 27 - BEAVER FALLS, Pa. – The Bethany College baseball team rallied from a 6-1 deficit with five runs in the seventh and four more in the eighth inning to claim a 10-8 triumph at Geneva in the opening game of their three-game series Friday.
The Bison, who improved to 6-1 on the season, will host the Golden Tornadoes (8-5) Saturday at Bethany Park in a doubleheader to close out the set, which will also be BC’s home opener.
The teams exchanged runs in the early frames, as a Geneva sacrifice fly in the first was answered by Bethany when junior CF Tyler Dillinger (McKeesport, Pa.) hit a two-out RBI single in the second. The Golden Tornadoes jumped in front with four runs in the third inning and their lead swelled to 6-1 in the fifth when Joe Jurinko bashed a leadoff solo homer.
After getting three hits in the second inning, Bethany was blanked over the next four frames on just two hits. That all changed in the seventh when the Bison erupted for five runs after two outs. Freshman 3B Brad Kubis (Aliquippa, Pa./Hoepwell) started the rally when he drove in one run with a bases-loaded single and two other runners scored on an error in the outfield. The score was evened at 6-6 after junior 2B Eric Fudala (Uniontown, Pa./Laurel Highlands) brought home Kubis with a double and then senior LF Mark Cummins (Manahawkin, N.J./Southern Regional) singled in Fudala.
The tie was short-lived, as the GTs scored twice in the bottom of the seventh on back-to-back home runs by Jon Bushmire and Justin Acosta. However, another big two-out rally in the eighth gave Bethany the lead for good. After the first two batters were retired, an error opened the door and the Bison burst through. Kubis stroked another RBI single, which was followed by a two-run double off Fudala’s bat to put the Bison on top. The inning was capped by an RBI single from senior DH Chris Leasure (Stafford, Ohio/Monroe Central).
From there, the Bison turned it over to their bullpen. Sophomore Alex Evans (Washington, Pa.) gave up a leadoff single in the eighth but retired the next two batters before a caught stealing closed out the inning. Then in the ninth, a one-out error brought the tying run to the plate in Bushmire. The threat was diffused when Kubis induced a 4-6-3 double play to finish off the win and his fourth save of the year, which made a winner out of junior Adam Nyswaner (McDonald, Pa./South Fayette), who improved to 2-0.
After being held in check for the majority of the game, the Bison finished with 14 hits in the contest, led by Leasure with three. Fudala, Kubis, Evans and sophomore 1B Nate Tieman (Hilliard, Ohio/Hilliard Darby) all finished with two hits and two runs scored, while Fudala drove in three and Kubis had two RBIs