The Bethany College baseball team fell twice in a Presidents’ Athletic Conference doubleheader against Grove City on Tuesday afternoon. The Bison fell by a score of 8-7 in the opener, before dropping a 9-2 decision in game two.
Bethany (7-20, 3-10 PAC) fell behind early in the opener as Grove City (22-7, 14-2 PAC) totaled two runs in the top of the first inning. The Wolverines added five more in the third to take a 7-0 lead.
The Bison responded with a run in the bottom of the third frame. Neil Woods (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Allegheny) drove in John Lee (Worthington, Ohio/Steubenville) with a two-out RBI single to get the Green & White on the scoreboard.
Grove City increased their lead in the fourth inning, using two hits to make it 8-1 in favor of the visitors.
Bethany didn’t go away easily, however, rallying for four runs in the bottom of the fourth. Jake Stemmerich (Greensburg, Pa./Greater Latrobe) and Ryan Nickerson (Huntington Beach, Calif./Huntington Beach) singled to start the inning, and Alex Martin (Sound Beach, N.Y./Miller Place) drew a walk to load the bases.
Lee and Andrew Gilliland (Gahanna, Ohio/Bishop Hartley) each recorded an RBI before Kevin Marthinsen (Pittsburgh, Pa./Upper St. Claire) and Woods scored two more on hits of their own. The Bison cut the deficit to three (8-5).
Hunter Kashke (Moundsville, W. Va./Bishop Donahue) came on in relief in the fourth inning and he settled in quickly, holding the Wolverines scoreless over the final three innings. The sophomore pitched four innings, giving up one run on four hits while striking out one.
The Bison closed in on the Wolverine lead by adding two more runs in the sixth inning. Bethany totaled three hits, including RBI singles from Zack Miller (West Mifflin, Pa./West Mifflin) and Matt Shaffer (McDonald, Pa./Fort Cherry), to pull within one (8-7) with one more inning to play.
Bethany threatened in the seventh as Gilliland singled through the left side of the infield with two outs. Pinch-runner Brandon Wagner (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Hills) advanced to second on a wild pitch to move into scoring position.
The Wolverine defense stepped up late and ended the Bison threat, recording the final out on a deep fly ball to center to hold on for the 8-7 victory.
Offensively, Woods led the Bison with three hits. Marthinsen and Nickerson each added two as Bethany recorded 12 hits in the contest.
In game two, Grove City jumped out to another quick lead over the hosts. The Wolverines took a 4-0 advantage after two innings of play.
Bison relief pitcher Bill McLuckie (McMurray, Pa./Peters Township) pitched well over 2 2/3, yielding two runs on three hits while walking one. Gilliland threw the final 1 1/3 innings, giving up one run on two hits with two strikeouts.
The Wolverines totaled three more runs in the fifth inning on a three-run homer to make it 7-0.
Bethany’s offense was held in check for much of the contest before the Bison collected two runs in the bottom of the sixth. Saige Micomonaco (Middletown, Ohio/Madison) hit a solo shot to start the late rally. Lee singled to restart the offense, and after moving to second on a passed ball, Marthinsen singled to score Lee and make it 7-2.
Grove City added two more runs in the seventh inning, ultimately handing the Bison a 9-2 defeat.
Bethany baseball will be back in action on Friday, April 22 when they finish a six-game home stand by hosting Westminster College at 4 p.m. ?