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LEASURE TIES HOME RUN RECORD BUT BISON SWEPT BY CASE
April 5 - BETHANY, W.Va. – Senior Chris Leasure (Stafford, Ohio/Monroe Central) clubbed his 18th career home run to tie the school record, but the Bethany College baseball team’s seventh-inning rally fell a run short, as Case Western Reserve completed their sweep of Monday’s twinbill by scores of 14-8 and 4-3.
The Bison (9-7) trailed 4-0 after the Spartans (13-13) scored three unearned runs in the second inning and used a solo home run by Matt Keen to push their advantage to four runs in the third. Bethany had just three hits going into the bottom of the seventh, but with one out, junior 2B Eric Fudala (Uniontown, Pa./Laurel Highlands) singled. That was followed by Leasure’s two-run blast to left for his 18th career long ball, which tied Aaron Meadows (2003-06) and Scott Deunger (1998-01) for the most in school history.
Bethany’s rally wasn’t done yet, as with two outs, junior Mike Pegg (Uniontown, Pa./Laurel Highlands) doubled and he scored when freshman PH Matt Paonessa’s (Niagara Falls, N.Y.) ground ball to second was thrown away. That brought the go-ahead run to the plate, but a ground out to second closed out the 4-3 Case victory.
Sophomore starter T.J. Zarewicz (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Hills) took the loss despite throwing a complete game. His record fell to 3-2 after allowing four runs, one earned, on seven hits with two strikeouts.
In the first game, Bethany led 3-1 through three innings, but the Spartans exploded for five runs in the fourth, one in the fifth and six tallied in the sixth. The Bison scored three times in the second on an RBI ground out by freshman catcher David Pivik (Pittsburgh, Pa./Plum), a run-scoring double by junior CF Tyler Dillinger (McKeesport, Pa.) and an RBI single from sophomore 1B Nate Tieman (Hilliard, Ohio/Hilliard Darby).
Mistakes by the Bison defense helped Case pull away, as the visitors scored seven unearned runs in the final four frames. Bethany, which finished with 15 hits in the game led by Leasure’s 3-for-4 effort, trimmed the final deficit to six runs by notching five in their final at-bat.
The loss was charged to freshman Zach Kozlowski (Pittsburgh, Pa./Baldwin), whose record was evened at 1-1.
Bethany will return to conference play Wednesday with a single, nine-inning game against Thiel. First pitch at Bethany Park is slated for 3 p.m.