TROY — It wasn’t the way the Bethel baseball team wanted to wrap up the Three Rivers Conference championship.
But, despite Troy Christian playing spoiler with a 3-2 win at Covered Bridge Field in 10 innings — Milton-Union’s loss to Riverside in extra innings gives the Bees a three-game lead with two games to go.
It also completed a season sweep of the Bees by the defending TRC champions.
With the win, Troy Christian improved to 7-7 overall and 6-5 in the TRC, while Bethel dropped to 11-10 overall and 10-2 in the TRC — four teams tied for second with five losses in the conference.
And Troy Christian Carson Dyer was not only the winning pitcher after pitching the top of the 10th — but also delivered the game winning hit in a game with numerous twists and turns.
Ben Major had a one-out double in the bottom of the 10th inning.
When Marcus O’Neal reached on an error, Major went to third and was safe on a bang-bang play.
After O’Neal took second, Judah Simmons was intentionally walked.
With the Bethel infield in, Dyer put the ball in play and Ben Major raced home with the winning run.
Troy Christian had taken a 2-0 lead in the third, taking advantage of two Bethel errors.
Camden Koukol had singled and Matthew Major walked.
When Ben Major reached on error, Koukol scored.
Matthew Major was out at home, but another error allowed Ben Major to score.
Bethel cut it to 2-1 in the fourth.
Braylon Schroeder doubled and scored on Kyle Brueckman’s fielder’s choice.
Bethel tied it in the sixth when Braylon Schroeder singled and scored on Luke Gray’s sacrifice fly.
The Bees had golden opportunities in the eighth and ninth — but Rylee Huber, who pitched the first nine innings for Troy Christian — kept them off the board.
The Bees had the bases loaded and no outs in the eighth and left bases loaded again in the ninth inning.
In the home ninth innings, Dyer walked and tried to score from first on Zane Harris’ single when it skipped away from a Bethel outfielder.
But, the Bees were able to throw him out at home and extend the game.
Dyer came into pitch the 10th and set the Bees down in order and set up the dramatic finish.
Huber and Dyer combined on a seven-hitter, striking out one, walking six and hitting two batters.
Luke Gray and Bryce Ballard combined on an eight-hitter, striking out nine and walking six.
Sports Editor Rob Kiser can be reached at [email protected]