Andrew Woodley, Sports Information Director
WASHINGTON, Pa. (March 8) - The Bethany College baseball team was dealt a season-opening sweep by Washington & Jefferson in a Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) doubleheader Wednesday evening. Bethany lost by scores of 12-1 and 14-6.
The Bison open the season 0-2 overall, 0-2 in league play. Meanwhile, the Presidents improve to 4-0 overall, 2-0 in the PAC.
GAME 1 - Washington & Jefferson 12, Bethany 1
Bethany broke a scoreless tie in the fourth, but the Presidents scored 12-straight runs and held the Bison to three hits to earn the victory.
Bethany opened the scoring in the fourth when sophomore first baseman Neil Woods (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Allegheny) doubled, advanced to third and came across home plate on a wild pitch.
W&J answered with a run to tie the game in the bottom of the inning and followed with six runs in the fifth inning and five in the sixth to claim the win.
Sophomore Nick Gross (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Allegheny) made the opening day start for the Bison and pitched well. He limited the Presidents to one run on one hit with three strikeouts over four innings of work to earn a no-decision.
GAME 2 - Washington & Jefferson 14, Bethany 6
The Presidents' plated the game's first nine runs and held off the Bison's rally attempt in a 14-6 game two loss for Bethany.
W&J led 9-0 heading into the fourth inning. The first four Bison that came to the dish each delivered base hits, including RBI hits by sophomore designated hitter Jake Stemmerich (Greensburg, Pa./Greater Latrobe) and sophomore third baseman Tyler Frazee (Markleysburg, Pa./Uniontown) to make the score 9-2.
Stemmerich and Frazee were then driven in with an RBI-groundout by junior second baseman Ryan Nickerson (Huntington Beach, Calif./Huntington Beach) and a sacrifice fly by senior shortstop Zack Miller (West Mifflin, Pa./West Mifflin) that made the score 9-4.
The Bison loaded the bases with a trio of singles following the Miller sac fly, but could not push across anymore runs in the frame.
The Presidents' got one of the runs back in the bottom of the fifth, but after sophomore left fielder Kelaen Welch (Follansbee, W.Va./Brooke) doubled in a run and scored on a wild pitch in the top of the sixth, the Bison were within four runs of W&J at 10-6.\
The Presidents' responded with four more runs in the bottom of the sixth to pull away for the win.
Freshman Tyler Alworth (Brackenridge, Pa./Highlands) was tagged with the loss in his collegiate-debut. He went 2.0 innings and allowed eight runs (seven earned) on five hits with one strikeout, while getting the starting nod.
Sophomore catcher Alex Martin (Sound Beach, N.Y./Miller Place) led the Bison at the plate with three hits and a run scored. Both Frazee and Welch also finished the game with multiple hits.
Bethany will head to Fort Pierce, Florida for their annual Spring Break trip and open play in the Sunshine State on Saturday, March 11 when they play a twinbill against Eastern Nazarene (Mass.) beginning at noon.
There will not be any live coverage of the team's trip to Florida. Follow the Bison on twitter (@Bethany_Bison) and stay tuned to BethanyBison.com for scores and updates of the team's trip to Florida.