Andrew Woodley, Sports Information Director
NEW CONCORD, Ohio (April 17) - The Bethany College baseball team was handed a two-game sweep by Muskingum in a non-conference doubleheader Monday afternoon. The Bison fell by scores of 8-5 and 4-2 on the day.
Bethany falls to 10-18-1 overall, while the Muskies improve to 14-14 this season after taking three-out-of-four this season against the Bison.
GAME 1: Muskingum 8, Bethany 5
The Green & White posted runs in each of the final two innings, but could not overcome a six-run deficit in their 8-5 game one loss.
Bethany opened the scoring in the first inning with the help of a wild pitch and a two-out RBI-single by junior Ryan Nickerson (Huntington Beach, Calif,/Huntington Beach) to score two runs before the Muskies came to the plate.
Muskingum responded with three runs in the first to claim the lead, two more in the third and three in the fifth to open up an 8-2 lead after five innings.
Bethany did not go down quietly, as back-to-back hits, including an RBI-double by senior Zack Miller (West Mifflin, Pa./West Mifflin), cut the Muskie lead to 8-3 heading into the seventh inning.
The Bison were down to their final out, before consecutive RBI-hits by Nickerson and junior Jacob Miller (Pickerington, Ohio/Pickerington North) helped put the game-tying run in the on-deck circle. Unfortunately, an infield ground out wrapped the game up for the Muskies.
Senior pitcher Alex Fenstermaker (Kirtland, Ohio/Kirtland) was saddled with the loss after allowing five runs on five hits with a strikeout over three innings of work.
Nickerson was the top run-producer with two RBI on two hits and a run scored. Junior Kelaen Welch (Follansbee, W.Va./Brooke) and sophomore Neil Woods (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Allegheny) finished with identical lines of three hits and a run scored, while junior Matt Cavanaugh (Cranberry, Pa./Seneca Valley) added two hits and a run scored. As a team, the Bison pounded out 13 hits in the loss.
GAME 2: Muskingum 4, Bethany 2
The Bison nearly came rallied from behind to erase a four-run deficit, but left the bases loaded in the final inning of their 4-2 loss in game two.
Muskingum established a 4-0 lead with two runs in the first and runs scored in the third and fourth frames.
Sophomore John Lee (Worthington, Ohio/Thomas Worthington) got the Bison on the board with a two-RBI single in the sixth to cut the Muskie lead to 4-2, heading into the game's final inning.
Bethany had a chance to erase the Muskingum lead in the seventh inning, loading the bases on two singles and a walk with one out, but could not connect on a base hit to plate any runs. The Bison stranded the runners on a pop-up and a ground out to end the game and allow Muskingum to escape with a sweep.
Junior pitcher Andrew Gilliland (Gahanna, Ohio/Bishop Hartley) took the loss after allowing four runs on four hits in 3.1 innings on the bump. Freshman Matt Colton (Pittsburgh, Pa./Upper St. Clair) was effective in relief, limiting the Muskies to one hit over 2.2 innings out of the bullpen.
Sophomore Tyler Frazee (Markleysburg, Pa./Uniontown) was the top batter with two hits, while senior Zach Schlotter (Twinsburg, Ohio/Gilmour Academy) had the team's only extra-base hit with a double that setup Lee's two-RBI single.
The Bison will return to conference play tomorrow, Tuesday, April 18 when host Waynesburg at Bethany Park for a doubleheader beginning at 2 p.m.