MARION, Ind. -- The Indiana Wesleyan University baseball team saw its season come to an end Saturday afternoon with a doubleheader split against visiting Bethel (Ind.) College at Wildcat Field.
Indiana Wesleyan finishes the 2012 campaign with a 25-30 record and a 17-19 mark in the Mid-Central College Conference. IWU completes conference action in sixth place.
The Wildcats completed the season playing their best baseball of the season. IWU won each of its last three four-game series with Mount Vernon Nazarene (Ohio) University, Grace (Ind.) College, and Bethel. The Wildcats won 3-of-4 in each series to end the year on a 9-3 stretch.
Six Wildcats were recognized on Saturday during pregame Senior Day festivities. The graduating seniors were centerfielder CJ Sandmann, leftfielder Seth White, catcher Alex Ridlen, pitcher Ryne Brown, pitcher Tim Zeigler, and first baseman/third baseman Jordan Baker.
Zeigler started Game 1 for Indiana Wesleyan and faced two batters, striking out the second Pilot. He had not pitched since early in the season due to injury. But the senior received one last start and retired a batter before being lifted for Sam Lewis.
Lewis would take care of the rest as he mowed down Bethel the entire game. He allowed one hit and one walk in 6.2 innings. Lewis struck out seven and earned the win on the mound to finish the season at 4-2. The junior retired the first 12 batters he faced before surrendering a single in the fifth inning.
By that point neither team had scored but Indiana Wesleyan changed that in the home half of the fifth. Senior Alex Ridlen singled through the right side of the infield for the eventual game-winning RBI. Courtesy runner Trey Shigley then stole second on the front end of a double steal. Shortstop Preston Fugita stole home after the throw to second for the 2-0 cushion.
Lewis shut the door over the final two innings, including a 1-2-3 seventh.
Second baseman Jacob Murphy was 2-for-3 with a run scored as Indiana Wesleyan outhit Bethel 5-2.
Bethel (19-35, 12-24 MCC) jumped out to a 4-0 lead after four innings in Game 2. BC scored single runs in the second and third innings and then doubled their lead with two more in the fourth.
Indiana Wesleyan scored their only run in the game in the fifth inning. Murphy hit a double to deep left field and later scored on a two-out single up the middle by Ridlen. IWU continued to threaten with two runners in scoring position and trailing 4-1. But designated hitter Javier Aponte was called out on strikes to end the rally.
Senior Ryne Brown pitched well in defeat. He allowed five runs (two earned) in the complete game effort. He gave up 10 hits and no walks while striking out six Pilots.
Ridlen's final game was stellar as the senior was 3-for-3 with a double and an RBI while fellow senior Set White added a 2-for-3 game at the plate.