Bethel baseball continues winning surge

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Jerrod Long
Freshman pitcher Jerrod Long throws a pitch against Grace College. The Pilots took both games in the double header and are now ranked 2nd place in the NCC.
Forgetting the past and climbing to the top of the conference standings has been a familiar story for the Bethel baseball team. After struggling in Florida last year, the team managed to find their team chemistry and make a deep run in the conference tournament. This year, the team finds itself  in a similar situation; nevertheless, they have proven themselves to be a dangerous team with much potential. Currently the Pilots have won 14 of their last 15 games and have achieved a record of 13-1 in the conference. They have also climbed to second place in the conference standings with a 12-4 record, just one game behind the Taylor Trojans. The Pilots have just eight conference games remaining and four of those coming against Taylor. Although Bethel currently has an overall record of just 20-18, they have the potential to control their own destiny in the conference regular season. From there, they look to be another dangerous team looking to make a deep run in the MCC Tournament. This recent success has come as a result of a number of things, mainly players stepping up on both defense and at the plate. Two players that have made significant contributions are Elliot Rowe and Reid Spitaels. After going 6-0 last week, both Rowe and Spitaels received MCC Conference Player of the Week honors. Spitaels was an impressive 14-20 at the plate with six doubles, a homerun, 12 RBI’s, and 12 runs scored. This brings his overall season average up to .496 which is the best in the conference. Rowe also made impressive contributions on the mound. He pitched two complete games for a total of 14 innings, giving up just four runs and compiled eight strikeouts. One of these games was against conference foe, Huntington University, in which he pitched a complete game shutout and allowed just three hits. Elliot has now pitched a whopping 49.2 innings and has attained an overall ERA of 4.89. The Pilots have also had several other standouts as well which have led to their recent success and push for a conference title. Freshman pitcher Jordan Hall has pitched 23 innings for the Pilots and has earned a 3-0 record, one save, and an ERA of 3.52. After a rocky start Sophomore JJ Dubois has also pitched well with 45.1 innings and an ERA of 6.35. They have also excelled at the plate with nine players currently batting over .300. In addition to Spitaels, Jon Rolon and Garrett Curless are also batting over .400. This has led to the Pilots outscoring their opponents 269-250 and revealing that they can be a very dangerous post-season team. Sophomore pitcher J.J. Dubois believes the hitting has been great so far this season. “Our hitting has given our team endless potential for the rest of the season and into post-season play,” Dubois stated. Dubois also stated that it is key that the team continues to pitch well enough so that they have a shot to beat any team with their efficient hitting. Besides facing Taylor twice in the final stretch, the Pilots will also square off against Indiana Wesleyan University and Goshen College who has collected a combined seven conference wins between the two schools. Bethel will need a very strong push to close out the season as this will lead to positive seeding in the conference tournament. They will also need a strong tournament showing as this could lead to further post-season play. The next Pilot home game is April 24 against Goshen College, and then the final home game for Bethel is April 29 against conference leader Taylor University.
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