Jan. 8 - BETHANY, W.Va. – For the 20th consecutive season, members of the Bethany baseball team have been selected by Collegiate Baseball as Players to Watch, with junior OF Tyler Dillinger (McKeesport, Pa.) and sophomore 1B Nate Tieman (Hilliard, Ohio/Hilliard Darby) earning the recognition.
For Dillinger, this is his second straight appearance on the national publication’s preseason list. The junior center fielder earned Second Team All-PAC accolades last spring after he led the Bison in hits (50), runs scored (27) and doubles (nine) while finishing second in batting average (.360) and RBIs (16). He posted 12 multi-hit games, including three contests with four hits.
One of those four-hit games came in an April 19 victory over Westminster, as Dillinger went 4-for-5 with two runs scored and two RBIs, one coming on a game-winning single in the bottom of the ninth that gave BC a 14-13 win.
“Tyler is very deserving of this honor,” said Bison head coach Rick Carver. “He is a leader in many ways for us, as he is a captain and is also our leadoff hitter, where he is the catalyst to jump start the offense. We are hoping his performance lives up to this accolade.”
A secondary education/social studies major, Tyler is the son of George Dillinger of McKeesport, Pa.
Tieman makes his first appearances as a Player to Watch after he narrowly edged out Dillinger for the highest average on the Bison last year at .361. He also led Bethany with 18 walks and a .480 on-base percentage while driving in 10 runs and scoring 13 more. With the glove at first base, he made only one error in 159 total chance for a .994 fielding percentage.
“Nate is another table-setter for us,” said Carver. “He may not be the typical first baseman in terms of power, but his ability to get on base and be a good contact hitter are things we’re counting on for him to have another very good season.
“It’s really good to see guys like Tyler and Nate be honored because of all the work they put in,” said Carver. “It’s particularly gratifying for someone like Nate, who didn’t really have a position when he came here. He was backing up at several positions, but kept working. When his opportunity came up, he produced and showed we had to get his bat in the line-up.”
A communication major, Nate is the son of Patti and Joe Tieman of Hilliard, Ohio.
The 2010 season is scheduled to begin for Bethany on March 5 with a game against Denison (Ohio) University in Chillicothe, Ohio. It’s the only game slated for the Bison before they travel to Fort Pierce, Fla., for their spring break trip March 11-21.