HAYS — The Bethany College baseball team led Fort Hays State by as many as seven runs Wednesday, but faltered late to lose a 14-12 decision.
The Swedes’ offense went quietly in the first inning, only getting a single by Daniel Hordo, and looked as though they'd be in trouble as they took the field in the bottom of the inning. Bethany gave up three runs on two singles, a double, a walk and a hit by pitch.
Bethany answered with an offensive surge of its own. Nate Estores led off the inning with a walk. Nick Lucchesi then singled through the left side of the infield to advance Estores to second. Diego McCollum pinch ran for Lucchesi. The Swedes tied the game on a throwing error by the pitcher from Erik Pedersen's attempted sacrifice bunt. Estores, McCollum and Pedersen all scored on the play. Sammuel Ramirez and Aaron Huerta both hit home runs to left center on back-to-back pitches extending the inning and the Swedes lead to 5-3.
The Bethany defense went to work with the lead. After giving up a leadoff single to start the bottom of the inning, the Swedes went on to record seven straight outs. In the fourth inning the Swedes went back to work looking to extend the lead. Pedersen led off the inning with a single up the middle. James Compomizzi hit a sacrifice bunt to advance him to second. Following a Pedersen steal, putting him on third base, Christian Ornelas doubled bringing in Pedersen to extend the lead to 6-3.
Ramirez then singled to left field to score Ornelas. The very next batter, on a 1-2 pitch, Huerta hit his second home run of the day to center field. The Swedes led 9-3, but they were not done in the fourth inning just yet. After Hordo doubled to left center, Cord Briggs singled to center to score him. The Swedes took a 10-3 lead into the bottom of the fourth inning.
The home team would awake from its offensive slump in the fourth inning. The Tigers scored three runs on four hits to cut the lead to four runs. Fort Hays State would also score on a home run in the fifth inning.
After having their lead cut to 10-7, the Swedes looked to go back on the attack. Ramirez led off the inning with a walk. He advanced to third and Huerta reached base on a fielding error. Huerta also stole second. Hordo grounded out to short stop, Ramirez scored on the play. The next pitch Briggs hit a deep fly ball to center field. Huerta scored on the sacrifice fly.
The Swedes looked strong going into the late innings, but faltered in the eighth inning. Bethany gave up seven runs on five hits and went from having a 12-7 lead, to a 14-12 deficit. The Swedes were unable to overcome the two runs in the ninth inning going down in order to end the game.
Hordo, Huerta, and Ramirez all had two hits on the afternoon. Huerta also scored three times to go along with his three RBIs. Ramirez also score three times and had two RBIs. Hordo had an RBI to go along with a run scored.
Victor De Anda pitched 3 2/3 innings, giving up six earned runs on seven hits and striking out three. Robert Johnson pitched 3 1/3 innings in relief giving up only one run on three hits while striking out one. Andrew Gomez pitched for a third of an inning giving up five runs on four hits. Taylor Plante took the loss giving up two runs on one hit after striking out one batter.
The Swedes are scheduled to host Tabor today. The Bluejaus are in first in the conference with a 16-4 record and ranked 14th in the nation, while the Swedes are third in the KCAC.