Bethel baseball closed out the 2017 regular season on Tuesday with a quality 5-3 win over Marian University. The win lifts the Pilots’ season mark to 20-20 and their league record to 10-17 while MU slips to 25-19 overall and 19-8 in Crossroads League action.
The Pilots did most of their work early by scoring four in the top of the second frame. A lead-off double by Collin Affolder got the ball rolling for BC, and hits by Eric Kelver, Josh Gillam, Austin Branock and Brandon Diss allowed four BC baserunners to touch home plate. BC landed another score in the fourth, and the Bethel pitching staff put together nine solid innings of work that never allowed MU enough traction to take control of the contest.
BC sophomore slinger Josh King put in most of the work from the mound. In six innings, King allowed just three earned runs and forced the Knights to strand four runners. In relief of King, Andrew Bobeck, Jared Laurent and Branock each tossed scoreless frames to shut the door.
Overall, King picked up the win as he exited with his club holding the 5-3 lead after six complete innings.
Offensively, Gilliam had a career day, picking up three hits in four at-bats while scoring twice. Diss also was a standout performer, landing hits in all three of his plate appearances.
Bethel will now turn their attention to the opening round of the Crossroads League Tournament, which kicks off on Saturday. The eighth-seeded Pilots will make their way to top-seeded Huntington to face the Foresters in a nine-inning contest starting at 3:00 p.m. Both the winner and loser of that matchup will advance to play on Monday in the double elimination style tournament.