April 24 – BETHANY, W. Va. – The Bethany College baseball program pounded out seven runs and 14 total hits, but fell just shy of a victory, dropping an 8-7 decision to visiting Westminster College on Sunday afternoon at Bethany Field.
Westminster's starting pitcher, Sean Coyne, got the Titans on the board in the top of the first inning, roping a two-out double to give the visitor's a 1-0 lead on Bison starting pitcher Nick Gross (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Allegheny).
The Titans would pad their lead in the top of the third inning, producing three doubles in the frame to plate a pair of runners and extend the advantage to 3-0.
After the visitors added three more runs in the top of the fourth inning, the Bison bats would come alive, striking back with three of their own. Neil Woods (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Allegheny) opened the frame by drawing a walk and was immediately chased home on a RBI double from Saige Micomonaco (Middletown, Ohio/Madison).
Two batters later, freshman Alex Martin (Sound Beach, N.Y./Miller Place) singled home Micomonaco from second, chasing Coyne from his starting pitcher role. With Zack Miller (West Mifflin, Pa./West Mifflin) on third, an errant throw on a pickoff attempt allowed the junior to score, pulling the Bison within three, 6-3.
Westminster would add two more runs in the top of the sixth inning, getting a pair of unearned runs to push the Bison's deficit to 8-3.
Bethany would tally the final runs of the game, pulling the game close with four more runs over their next four at bats. The Bison responded to Westminster's two runs in the sixth with a pair of their own in the home half of the frame.
Martin opened the inning with a walk and moved to second on a wild pitch. Martin then came around to score on an error by the Titans' shortstop, which allowed pinch-hitter Zach Schlotter (Twinsburg, Ohio/Gilmour Academy) to reach base. Back-to-back singles by Kevin Marthinsen (Pittsburgh, Pa./Upper St. Clair) and Woods, then chased Schlotter home, cutting the Titan advantage to 8-5.
The Green & White would continue to chip away, tacking on another run in the bottom half of the seventh inning as Martin singled home Matt Shaffer () to whittle the deficit down to two, 8-6. The Green & White also had the bases loaded with one out in the frame, but a double play on a lineout ended Bethany's threat.
The Bison bullpen performed well in the game, as the combination of Andrew Gilliland (Gahanna, Ohio/Bishop Hartley), Sean Spotts (Harpers Ferry, W. Va./Jefferson) and Joe Hoffman (Allison Park, Pa./Deer Lakes) held the Titans scoreless over the final three innings. Hoffman finished off the work by the pen, posting a perfect performance in the top of the ninth inning, keeping the game close at 8-6.
Miller got the Bison going in the team's last at bats, leading off the bottom of the ninth with a double to left-center field. Two batters later, John Lee (Worthington, Ohio/Thomas Worthington) brought home Miller with a single to center field with just one out, pulling the game to 8-7. However, the Bison were unable to get the tying run across, falling by the same score.
Offensively, Woods became the second Bison this season to tally four hits in a game, finishing the contest 4-for-4 at the plate with a RBI, a run scored and a walk. The freshman reached base in all five of his official at bats.
Other multi-hit performances were turned in by Miller, Martin and freshman Josh LoNero (Trafford, Pa./Penn-Trafford). Marthinsen finished the game 1-for-4 on the day, extending his career-high hitting streak to six games, tying the longest by a Bison this season.
The Bison will return to action on Tuesday as they play host to the Saints of Thomas More College. The matchup is scheduled for a 4 p.m. start.