Waynesburg wins first conference game, splits doubleheader with Thiel

From March 30, 2022

Wednesday saw the Yellow Jackets baseball team travel to Greenville, Pennsylvania to take on Thiel in a doubleheader that ended in a split. After falling just short of a victory in the 3:30 p.m. matchup, when the Tomcats defeated Waynesburg 4-3, the 5:00 pm game was nothing short of a rout, as Waynesburg (5-11, 1-3 PAC) took down Thiel 16-6 (6-8, 2-2). This was also Waynesburg’s first PAC victory. 

Head coach Perry Cunningham said the difference was that his guys “hit better” in game two and noted that, “Thiel didn’t get as strong as a start from their pitcher on the mound.”

This was apparent as Waynesburg did not even get on the board until the seventh inning, which made little difference considering Thiel had already accumulated a four-run lead to that point. 

Cunningham was also quick to give credit to the demeanor of his players.

“I felt we also felt that there was a different tone set pretty early,” Cunningham said. 

He went on to mention how freshman Bryce Bedilion’s double to lead off the second game was notable in setting that desired tone.

When asked specifically about Bedilion, who now has accumulated five consecutive games where he has notched at least one base hit, Cunningham was full of praise for the freshman. 

“We talk to our guys about not giving away at-bats and having a plan for each at-bat, depending on the situation,” Cunningham said. “We also have an overall approach that we talk to our guys about often. Bryce is doing all of those things. He’s mindful of the overall approach, has a plan when he steps in the batter’s box, and battles on every pitch.”

Another notable performance that may have escaped the minds of many was that of pitcher Mike Bell. Despite Waynesburg’s struggles at the plate in the first game, Bell seemed to have been the key to keeping the Jackets in the game to the end. 

He pitched a complete six innings, and allowed only three earned runs, on six total hits and two walks. Cunningham praised his sophomore pitcher and spoke volumes of him.

“Mike threw really well, especially considering that was his first collegiate start,” Cunningham said. “Mike did exactly what we ask of all of our pitchers, keep us in the game and give us a chance to win.”

Cunningham and his team now look to Grove City, who they will meet in a doubleheader on Saturday, April 2 as their original game Friday afternoon was shut down due to inclement weather. Despite this weather, Cunningham seems to be keeping his approach simple and concise for his players. 

“We aren’t working on anything specific, just continuing to get in our reps to make sure that we are prepared for Grove City.”