The woes continue for the Pilot baseball team, as they experienced another four-game conference sweep by the Cougars from Saint Francis prior to the Easter weekend. Despite facing the strong part of the MCC during the early part of their schedule, Bethel has been unable to ascend from the cellar in the conference standings. There has not been just one pattern as to why the skid continues to grow; on the contrary, it has been a combination of factors. At times this season, the bats have been very quiet and have failed to support the pitching. During the current 14 game losing streak, the Pilots have scored just one run each game, and have been shutout eight times. Ethan Zartman has had the hot hand at the plate this season with a .341 average and 20 RBI’s. In addition, Kyle Revella and Cody Naleigh have swung the bat well this season hitting .333 and .309 respectively. However, it has not been enough to keep up with the high scoring affairs that the Pilots have been forced to play during this season. On the other end, pitching has been a struggle as well. The Pilots have strongly relied on their senior veteran, Elliot Rowe, who has pitched 43.2 innings and is sporting a 4.53 ERA. Rowe is currently averaging over six innings per outing. However, the next highest inning total is Brant Jones who has pitched 27.2 and has a 7.16 ERA. Due to the lack of depth on the mound, the Pilots have given up six or more runs in 11 out of their last 14 games. The Pilots anxiously anticipate getting their other senior sensation, JJ Dubois, back on the mound after struggling with back pain early in the season. Although Dubois has been unable to play for part of the season, he has not let it keep him from being a vital leader on the team. “Although we have experienced struggles this season, I believe that this team has shown several positive signs and can recover from the recent losses,” said Dubois. The Pilots will host Mount Vernon Nazarene during the early part of next week as they try to end the slide and improve their current MCC standings. Although they are a long way from the first place Taylor Trojans, who are currently 14-2, the 1-15 Pilots are only a game behind Goshen in climbing out of the bottom spot in the conference. In the meantime, there is still plenty of baseball to be played with 20 games remaining in the 2012 season prior to post-season play.