Bison score four in the ninth inning to knock off Westminster 7-5

Bison score four in the ninth inning to knock off Westminster 7-5

Steve Janik, Assistant Sports Information Director

NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. (April 2) - The Bethany College baseball team plated four runs in the top of the ninth inning to defeat Westminster 7-5 in a Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) matchup on Sunday.

With the win, Bethany improves to 7-10-1 overall and 2-5 in the PAC, while Westminster falls to 5-14 overall and 2-6 in the conference.

Neil Woods (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Allegheny) led the way for the Bison going 3-for-5, including a home run with a career-high four RBI. He also earned the save over the final inning of work on the mound. Zack Miller (West Mifflin, Pa./West Mifflin) finished 3-for-4, while John Lee (Worthington, Ohio/Thomas Worthington) went 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored.

Trailing 5-3 into the final frame, the Bison used timely hitting, while taking advantage of three Westminster errors to score four runs to win the series from the Titans.

Back-to-back pinch hit singles by Andrew Gilliland (Gahanna, Ohio/Bishop Hartley) and Paul Runkel (Steubenville, Ohio/Steubenville) got the inning started, putting two one with nobody out.

Zack Miller followed suit with a single to right, loading the bases for The Green and White. A pitching change for the hosts led to a walk, scoring Kelaen Welch (Follansbee, W.Va./Brooke) who was running for Gilliland, making the score 5-4.

Lee then joined in, roping a single to center that scored the runner at third but an error made by the center fielder allowed a second run to score, giving the Bison the 6-5 lead with two runners still on and just one out.

Woods, who carried the offense on the day, singled to left allowing the fourth run of the inning to score, and head into the hosts final at-bat with the 7-5 lead.

Woods then took over on the bump in the bottom half and walked the first hitter he faced but ended the game on a double play for his third save of the season.

The hosts opened the game up in their first at-bat with back-to-back singles before the lead runner scored on a double play by the Bison but the damage was done. The Titans tacked on two more in the bottom of the third to take the 3-0 lead.

In the top of the sixth, Woods got Bethany on the board with a solo shot to left field, his first on the season.

After the Titans added two more in the seventh, the Bison looked to Woods again in the eighth inning. 

Zack Miller started the inning off with a single. After an out on a fielder's choice and a wild pitch, the Bison had a runner at second. After Lee drew a walk, Ryan Nickerson (Huntington Beach, Calif./Huntington Beach) singled to right to load the bases.

Woods stepped up and singled to right, allowing two runs to score and shift some momentum back to the Bison dugout and help setup their strong final inning.

Next up, the Bison travel to play Penn State-Beaver on Monday for a single nine inning game with first pitch set for 4pm.