LINDSBORG — The Bethany College baseball team took to the field again Monday afternoon to finish a four-game series with Concordia University.
The Swedes could not maintain the momentum of Sunday’s sweep, as the Bulldogs took the second two of the four-game series. Bethany fell 16-14 in nine innings of the first contest, and lost 5-2 in the second.
After giving up a three-run homer in the first inning, Bethany’s Christian Ornelas led off with a triple. A Nicholas Ceccarelli single to center scored Ornelas. After a fly out and balk to put Ceccarelli in scoring position, Jordan Geiger singled to right-center scoring Ceccarelli. Aaron Huerta then hit a two run bomb to left field to score Geiger, giving the Swedes a 4-3 lead.
Bethany was able to get out of trouble in the second, after allowing two runners on with none out, the Bulldogs advanced runners on a sac bunt. With runners on second and third, pitcher Jordan Geiger was able to get out of the jam with a strike out and then a weak ground ball.
The Swedes would add to their one-run lead in the bottom of the second when Junior Sammuel Ramirez blasted a 2-0 pitch over the left-field fence. The blast gave the Swedes a 5-3 lead. In the third, Geiger hit a sharp single to left and after Nick Lucchesi was hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second. Huerta laid down a bunt and ended up on third thanks in part to a throwing error. Both Geiger and Lucchesi scored on the play, pushing the Swedes lead to 7-3.
Concordia would respond, however. After a fielding error and a walk, the Bulldogs singled to load the bases. The Bulldogs would score on a sac fly to left, leaving runners on first and second. A passed ball would advance them to second and third, and a single to left-center would score one run bringing the Swedes lead to 7-5.
Ornelas would extend the lead to three, on a lead-off solo homer. He hit a 2-1 count over the left-field fence, making the score 8-5. Bethany would put another base runner on but was unable to score before the end of the inning.
Concordia would take the lead in the top of the fifth after putting up six runs. A walk, and back-to-back doubles made the score 8-7. Senior Taylor Plante entered the game and after getting a strikeout with the bases loaded, a single scored two. After a dropped fly ball, two more runs would score for the Bulldogs, and they led 11-8.
The Swedes would answer in the bottom of the fifth as Lucchesi led off the inning with a double and Huerta singled him home. Bethany would also score in the sixth, after back-to-back singles by Hordo and Geiger, Huerta singled to plate one. Erik Pedersen then singled to right which scored Geiger to tie it up at 11.
The Bulldogs answered with a run in the top of the seventh. It was time for the Swedes to answer. That’s exactly what they did. After Ramirez reached on a walk and Ornelas laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance him to second. Hordo singled to left-center to score Ramirez. Tying it once again, and pushing the game into extra innings for the second straight game.
In the eighth inning, Concordia took what looked like a commanding lead by scoring two runs and going up 14-12. But again, Bethany would respond. After Huerta was hit by a pitch, and Pedersen walked, senior Pablo Contreras doubled to deep right-center scoring both to tie it back up 14-14.
Concordia would again take the lead in the top of the ninth on a two-run single to right field. This time, however, the Swedes were not able to come up with the runs they needed.
In the second game, the Swedes would score first and look to bounce back after the crushing lost. After a scoreless first inning and a half, Bethany finally broke through. Contreras doubled down the left field line and would score on a wild throw to first.
The Bulldogs would answer by plating four runs in the top of the third. The third would be the inning that the Swedes couldn’t overcome. Pedersen would lead off the fifth and inch Bethany closer by hitting a 3-2 pitch over the left field fence making the score 4-2.
Concordia would add one more run in the top of the sixth. In the bottom half of the inning, Bethany looked to have a chance to shorten the lead. Hordo would lead off with a walk, and after a fly out, Lucchesi singled. Huerta would reach on an error to load the bases with one out. Concordia survived the inning thanks in part to a ground ball to first, and a throw out at the plate. The Swedes would make another threat in the seventh getting runners on second and third with two out, but a line-out ended that threat by the Swedes.
Bethany was led by Geiger, Huerta and Ornelas. In both games, Geiger went 4 for 7 with an RBI and scored three runs, Huerta went 4 for8 with four RBIs and two runs, Ornelas went 4 of 8 with an RBI and two runs scored.
“I am obviously disappointed in our execution today. We had numerous opportunities to win a game and did not,” Bethany coach Andrew Bartman said. “Our hitters did battle and compete, but came up short.”
The Swedes will be back in action Saturday and Sunday as they travel to Muskogee Oklahoma to play Bacone College in a three-game series.