March 17 - FORT PIERCE, Fla. – Five errors and 10 walks were too much for the Bethany College baseball team to overcome, as it dropped an 8-5 decision to Hilbert (N.Y.) College Thursday afternoon in Fort Pierce, Fla.
Freshman Jacob Fischer (Huntington, W.Va.) started on the hill for the Bison (3-2) and used double plays in the first two innings to hold the Hawks scoreless. But with one out in the third, an error, single and two straight walks pushed the initial run across for Hilbert. Bethany escaped further damage when a potential sacrifice fly was ruled a double play after the runner was called out for leaving third base too early.
The wildness caught up to BC in the fifth. The inning started with two walks and a hit batter, which ignited a four-run outburst from Hilbert. The big blow was a two-out, two-run single by Ryan Ilardi to extend the Hawks’ lead to 5-0.
Bethany, which had just two hits in the first four innings, finally scratched out a run in the fifth. Junior catcher T.J. Zarewicz (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Hills) stroked a leadoff single, stole second, moved to third on a ground out and raced home on a wild pitch to trim the BC deficit to 5-1.
The Bison missed a chance to take more off the Hilbert lead when they failed to score in a bases-loaded, one-out situation in the seventh. The Hawks then struck for another run in the eighth when a pair of walks set up a two-out RBI single to make it 6-1.
Bethany responded by plating three in the last of the eighth. Sophomore 3B Brad Kubis (Aliquippa, Pa./Hopewell) brought in the first run by belting a double to left. That was followed by a wild pitch that brought home junior RF Anthony Packer (River Vale, N.J./Pascack Valley Regional) and Kubis scored on a ground out by senior LF Mike Pegg (Uniontown, Pa./Laurel Highlands) that made it a 6-4 game heading into the ninth.
The BC momentum was short-lived, as two Green and White errors to start the ninth inning set up Ilardi to hit another two-run single that swelled the Hawks’ lead back up to 8-4. Bethany clipped one off that margin on an RBI single by senior CF Tyler Dillinger (McKeesport, Pa.), but the final two batters were retired and Hilbert came away with the victory.
Bethany finished the game with nine hits, with Dillinger collecting two singles and Kubis and sophomore 1B Chuck Ziants (Moundsville, W.Va./John Marshall) both had doubles. Fischer suffered the loss after throwing 4+ innings and allowing two runs (one earned) on four hits, but he walked five and struck out one.
The Bison will complete their spring break trip Friday with a single, nine-inning contest against Delaware Valley at 12:30 p.m.