Andrew Woodley, Sports Information Director
BETHANY, W.Va. (March 21) – A walk-off base-hit by junior Ryan Nickerson (Huntington Beach, Calif./Huntington Beach) helped the Bethany College baseball team earn a 5-4 game two win and a split with Muskingum Tuesday afternoon. Muskingum took game one 11-6 to open the day.
The Bison improve to 5-6-1 overall, while the Muskies move to 6-7 this season.
GAME 2: Bethany 5, Muskingum 4 (Final / 8 Innings)
A four-run first inning and a walk-off hit in the eighth inning propelled the Bison past Muskingum 5-4 in the second game of the day.
Sophomore Neil Woods (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Allegheny) put Bethany on the board with a two-RBI double and classmate Jake Stemmerich (Greensburg, Pa./Greater Latrobe) brought Woods across with an RBI-double of his own to give the Bison a 3-0 lead. Nickerson followed suit with another RBI-double that chased the Muskingum starting pitcher with one out in the inning and Bethany ahead 4-0.
The Green & White were held in check over the next six innings, all while the Muskies chipped away at the Bethany lead. Muskingum scored one in the fourth, two in the fifth and the game-tying run in the sixth to help send the game into extra innings.
Woods came on to pitch in the seventh and tossed a pair of scoreless innings, setting the stage for Nickerson in the eighth. Junior Saige Micomonaco (Middletown, Ohio/Madison) came up with a two-out pinch-hit double and was pinch run for by senior Adam Becker (McMurray, Pa./Peters Township). Nickerson came to the dish and hit the ball through the left side of the infield. Becker rounded third and slid under the tag at the plate to secure the walk-off win and split in the series.
Woods (2-0) earned the win after tossing two scoreless innings in relief with a pair of strikeouts. He also added a hit and two RBI at the plate.
Nickerson led the Bison at the plate with two hits and two RBI.
Muskingum relief pitcher Kyle Schmitgen was charged with the loss, despite a holding the Bison to one run on two hits over 7.1 innings of work. He held the Bison without a hit until the Micomonaco double in the eighth inning.
GAME 1: Muskingum 11, Bethany 6
Muskingum tagged the Bison pitching staff for 15 hits in Bethany's 11-6 game one loss.
The Muskies pushed across three runs in the top half of the first, but the Bison responded with three runs of their own to tie the game in the bottom half. Woods singled in a run and Nickerson placed a ball down the right field line to drive in a pair with a triple.
Bethany took a 4-3 lead in the third inning with a bases-loaded RBI-single by senior Zack Miller (West Mifflin, Pa./West Mifflin). Miller hit a ground ball to the shortstop and beat out the throw to drive in the run.
The Muskies took command of the game four runs in the fourth and four more in the sixth to take an 11-4 lead. Miller cut into the Bethany deficit with a two-run home run in the sixth inning, but the Bison did not get any closer.
Senior pitcher Cody Gross (West Mifflin, Pa./West Mifflin) was tagged with the loss. Gross (1-2) went 3.1 innings on the bump and allowed six runs on four hits with three strikeouts in the game.
Nickerson and Miller did most of the damage at the plate for the Bison, as each had two hits. Miller drove in three runs, while Nickerson delivered both his RBI on a triple.
The Bison are back on the Bethany Park diamond on Thursday, March 23 when they host Pitt-Greensburg. The two teams will play one nine-inning game starting at 2 p.m.