May 7 - BETHANY, W.Va. – Thiel used three-run outbursts in the fifth inning of both ends of Saturday’s doubleheader with the Bethany College baseball team to pull out 9-5 and 6-5 victories at Bethany Park.
The teams exchanged even scoring innings until the decisive fifth inning of the opening game. After the Tomcats (19-19, 9-12) put up three in the first, the Bison (12-22, 5-15) answered with a three-spot. Junior catcher T.J. Zarewicz (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Hills) singled in the first run and freshman RF Dylan Wassel (Elizabeth, Pa./Elizabeth Forward) brought in two with another single.
Both teams both scored one run in the third and fourth frames to keep the score knotted at 5-5. Bethany’s fourth run came on an RBI single from sophomore DH Alex Evans (Washington, Pa.) and then a Tomcat error in the fourth allowed the game to be even again. But Thiel took control of the game in the fifth with the three runs, two coming on a double by Luke Johnson. The Tomcats would tack on one more run in the seventh to finish off the win.
Bethany collected 11 hits in the game, with two each for senior CF Tyler Dillinger (McKeesport, Pa.), Zarewicz and Evans. The loss was tagged on senior Josh Lawrence (Mather, Pa./Jefferson-Morgan) who came on in relief in the fifth and allowed three runs.
In game two, BC grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first on an RBI single by sophomore SS Brad Kubis (Aliquippa, Pa./Hopewell). Thiel scored a pair in the fourth, but Bethany responded with two of their own in the last of the frame when junior 1B Nate Tieman (Hilliard, Ohio/Hilliard Darby) brought in a pair with a single.
The Tomcats used the long ball to go on top in the fifth. Leading off the inning, Eric Steininger drove a solo homer over the fence in left and after two fly outs and a walk, Weston Snyder blasted a two-run shot to left. Thiel then added what proved to be an important insurance run in the sixth for a 6-2 margin.
Bethany mounted a major threat in the seventh to try to send the game into extra innings. After two singles to open the frame, Kubis rolled a single through the left side to score one. The threat was lessened somewhat when a double play scored a run, but left the Bison down to their final out without a runner on base. A walk, a single and a wild pitch put the tying run on third and the winning run on second, but a strikeout ended the game and gave Thiel the sweep.
Pacing the Bison’s 10-hit attack was senior LF Mike Pegg (Uniontown, Pa./Laurel Highlands), who went 4-for-4 and scored one run. Kubis and Tieman both added two hits and a pair of RBIs each and Tieman also scored two runs.
Senior Mike Muklewicz (Bridgeport, Ohio) suffered the loss despite throwing well until the long balls in the fifth. He allowed five runs on eight hits in four and two-thirds innings of work.
The Bison will conclude the season Sunday when they host Westminster for a single, nine-inning game at Bethany Park.