The eighth-seeded Bethel Pilots' run through the postseason came to an end on Tuesday when the Knights of Marian University defeated BC 15-4. The loss settles BC's season record at 22-22 overall.
The Pilots were the first to strike when senior Morgan Erla put his club on top 1-0 thanks to a solo homer over the left-field fence in the top of the second frame. Bethel wasted little time doubling up on their lead in the third. With the bases loaded thanks to a pair of walks and a single by Brandon Diss, Mike Wathier lifted a sacrifice fly into center that plated Austin Branock from third base.
BC's run was brought to a halt when in the bottom of the third a lead-off walk was ensued by a two-run home run off the bat of MU's Baylee Adams, and the game was pulled back to even. Two hits and a fielding error later, MU plated three more scores to build their first lead of the contest at 5-2.
After three scoreless frames, BC's offense got back on track with three hits that turned into two runs, narrowing the gap to a single run with two-and-a-half innings left to play.
However, untimely struggles from the Pilots' pitching staff in the bottom of the eighth added up to six hits and four walks for the Knights, which they effectively turned into 10 runs. When the dust settled, the Pilots who trailed by just one, were now on the wrong side of a lopsided 15-4 tally and had just three outs to make up the damage. Branock singled in the top of the final frame, but the Pilots caused no real threat and bowed out of the 2017 season with the 15-4 loss.
The 22 wins this season was the most for the Bethel baseball program since 2011 and marks the second consecutive 20-win campaign for BC. With graduation, the Pilots bid farewell to Branock, Erla, Heath Brooksher, Zackary Foster, Jared Laurent, Cam Gallaway, Caleb MacPherson and Marvin Montgomery.
The Bethel College Pilots compete in 17 intercollegiate sports for men and women. While accumulating 3 NAIA National Championships and 32 NCCAA National Championships by 10 different athletic teams, Bethel has also produced 143 NAIA All-American honors and 309 NAIA Scholar-Athlete honors over the past decade. Bethel College is an accredited Christian college offering associate, bachelor's, and master's degrees in more than 70 areas of study. Connect with Bethel Athletics online at BethelCollegePilots.com or via Facebook, Twitter (@Bethel_Sports) and Instagram (@BethelPilots).
|Bethel (Ind.) (22-22)||0||1||1||0||0||0||2||0||0||4||10||2|
|Marian (Ind.) (28-20)||0||0||5||0||0||0||0||10||0||15||14||2|
|Upland, IN Winterholter Field|
|Bethel (Ind.)||Pitching||Marian (Ind.)|
|Bethel (Ind.)||Indv. Stats||Marian (Ind.)|
|#15 Brooksher, Heath||Doubles||2 Players (#24,#31)|
|#19 Erla, Morgan||Home Runs||3 Players|