Andrew Woodley, Sports Information Director
BETHANY, W.Va. (April 1) – The Bethany College baseball team took a split to open its three-game series with Westminster Saturday afternoon at Bethany Park. The Bison claimed a 2-1 win in game one, before falling 9-4 in the nightcap in Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) action.
Bethany moves to 6-10-1 overall, 1-4 in the PAC. Meanwhile, the Titans go to 2-6 in league play, 5-13 this season.
GAME 1: Bethany 2, Westminster 1
Led by a strong outing on the bump by freshman pitcher Tyler Alworth (Brackenridge, Pa./Highlands), the Bison earned a 2-1 win to open the twinbill on Saturday.
The Green & White got off to a good start when sophomore Neil Woods (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Allegheny) singled up the middle to drive home classmate Brandon Wagner (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Hills) and give the Bison a 1-0 lead in the first inning.
The Titans threatened in the fifth inning with runners on the corners with one out, but Alworth forced a line drive to second baseman Ryan Nickerson (Huntington Beach, Calif./Huntington Beach), who quickly threw to first to complete a double play that ended the frame.
The Bison added to their lead in the bottom of the fifth. Wagner singled with two outs, stole second and then scored to make the score 2-0 when sophomore John Lee (Worthington, Ohio/Thomas Worthington) reached on a throwing error.
Alworth retired Westminster in order in the sixth inning, before a lead-off single by the Titans in the seventh chased him and brought Woods on to try and earn the save.
Westminster put runners on first and second and attempted to move both runners up, but Woods threw out the lead runner at third base for the first out. Woods retired the next batter with a strikeout and allowed a single up the middle that pushed across one run to make the score 2-1.
Woods recovered and froze the next hitter with a called-strike three to end the game and give the Bison their first PAC win of the season.
Alworth (1-2) notched his first-collegiate win after limiting the Titans to one run on four hits with six strikeouts over six-plus innings of work.
Offensively, the Bison were limited to two hits, but managed to take advantage of a pair of Westminster errors to earn the win.
GAME 2: Westminster 9, Bethany 4
The Titans responded with a 9-4 win over Bethany in game two of the doubleheader at Bethany Park.
Westminster plated a run in the first and second innings to take a 2-0 lead. After a three-run third inning by the Titans extended the lead to 5-0, a Wagner double in the bottom of the third drove home senior Zack Miller (West Mifflin, Pa./West Mifflin) to put the Bison on the board and trim the deficit to 5-1.
The Titans struck again for three more runs in the top of the fourth on the power of three extra-base hits to build an 8-1 lead, but Bethany responded. The Bison loaded the bases with one out on a pair of singles and a walk, before a Miller sacrifice fly drove home Nickerson from third base to make the score 8-2 after four innings.
After Westminster added another run in the sixth to extend its lead to 9-2, Miller picked up two more RBI in the bottom of the inning with a single to bring the game to its final score of 9-4.
Junior Andrew Gilliland (Gahanna, Ohio/Bishop Hartley) was tagged with the loss after allowing five runs on five hits over 2.2 innings of work.
Miller was the top hitter for the Bison, finishing with two hits and three RBI, while Lee also added two hits in the loss.
Bethany and Westminster will conclude their series tomorrow, Sunday April 2 in New Wilmington at 2 p.m. The game is a make-up date from a postponement on Friday.