AUBURN — As the bases filled up with runners in the final inning Saturday, it started to feel all too familiar.

Bethel watched Rogers Post rally to load the bases in the first game of its doubleheader and score the winning run. So when history began to repeat itself in the second game, Kyle Peterson wasn’t overly concerned.

“I knew we had a pretty big lead,” the Bethel pitcher said. “I was going for the shutout, just to get the shutout. I wasn’t really nervous.”

Though Rogers Post got a bases-clearing single, Bethel got the final out on the same play and secured a 5-3 victory. It salvaged a doubleheader split after Rogers Post won the first game 5-4.

“We had a big lead,” Peterson said. “Other than a bad play here or there, defensively, we were outstanding today. It was nice to finally win a game.”

Bethel (3-8) hadn’t won a game in July.

After watching a 4-1 lead slip away as Rogers scored twice in the seventh in the first game, the second game said a lot about a Bethel club that only had nine players.

“That was a nice win, especially after losing the first game the way we did,” said Bethel coach Rob Manning, whose team was missing six players from the roster Saturday because of various commitments. “We’re a young team. It showed a lot of character to come back and win that second game, especially after losing the first one.”

Peterson scattered seven hits and struck out seven.

He was aided by some solid defensive play in the field, including a double play in the second and a nice leaping catch at third by Tyler Frost. Peterson also picked off a runner at first while the final out came when Bethel caught a runner trying a take an extra base. Bethel also got a relay throw to third to nail a runner that Rogers disputed.

“We weren’t putting the ball in play, and when we did, we made some mistakes,” Rogers coach Troy Crane said. “We had an issue on the bases that was out of our control, and we let it get to everybody. That’s something we’ve been working on all season. We have to stay within ourselves.”

Bethel took a 1-0 lead in the third when Jesse Bennett doubled and later scored on a passed ball.

In the fifth, Bethel loaded the bases with a walk and two singles. Frost had hit a long single in the third that landed just inside the left field fence. In the seventh, he left no doubt, putting it over the fence for a grand slam and a sudden 5-0 lead.

“Their pitcher was throwing a lot of off-speed stuff,” Manning said. “So I told the kids that we needed to think about hitting line drives. So as he was coming around the bases I said, ‘You didn’t listen to my advice did you?'”

That gave Peterson plenty of room to work. Rogers had a pair of hits in the first but didn’t produce more than two hits in another inning until the seventh.

“I’ve been struggling with control lately but today I had a pretty good day,” Peterson said. “I was trying to hit the corners and did that.”

With Bethel bringing the minimum players and little to no pitching depth, Peterson had to deliver.

“I thought Kyle showed a lot of leadership on the mound,” Manning said. “That was a real big piece for us.”

Rogers threatened in the seventh by loading the bases with one out.

Peterson got a strike out. Then Hammond singled to plate a pair. Another run scored when he tried to take second on the play, but Bethel ran down Hammond for the final out.

Rogers (9-5) used four pitchers in the second game after using three in the first game.

“The pitching schedule these kids are on, we’re running out of arms,” Crane said. “We’re using kids that don’t throw a lot.”

In the first game, Rogers loaded the bases in the seventh, trailing 4-3.

With two outs, a Nate Blais single and a pair of walks helped load the bases. Nate Pushard finished the rally with his third hit and third RBI of the game.

“Nate is a gamer,” Crane said. “He’s a great kid. He’s a pleasure to have around.”

Rogers took a 1-0 lead in the first on a Pushard single. Bethel answered with four runs in the second, taking advantage of four walks and a Bennett RBI. Rogers got RBI hits from Pushard and John Simpson to get within a run in the third and fifth innings, respectively.

“We needed that,” Crane said. “They worked hard. That was nice to see.”

[email protected]


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.