New Jersey City 10, Bluffton 6; Bluffton 4, NJC 0
Beavers split two with New Jersey City as freshman Justin Jones fires a one-hit shutout
By Bill Hanefeld Jr., sports information director
March 8, 2006
FORT MYERS, Fl. - The Bluffton University baseball team (2-3) split a doubleheader versus New Jersey City on Tuesday, March 7, 2006. The Beavers dropped the first game 10-6, but they used an outstanding pitching performance from freshman Justin Jones (Washington Court House/Washington Senior) to shut out New Jersey City 4-0 in the nightcap.
GAME 1 - New Jersey City 10, Bluffton 6
Tom Cruder put New Jersey City on the board in the first inning when his infield groundout plated Ruben Borges who had ripped a one-out double.
New Jersey City did most of its damage during a fourth inning rally that saw six runs cross the plate. The Gothic Knights chased starter William Gerber (Kidron/Central Christian) and rattled freshman Steve Roberts (West Salem/Mapleton) with five hits, a base on balls and hit batter before the dust settled. Bluffton found itself down 7-0 after only four innings.
The Beavers struggled to keep the Gothic Knights off the basepaths again in the fifth inning as New Jersey City tacked on three insurance runs on four hits to take a 10-0 lead through five innings.
The Bluffton bats finally came to life in the sixth inning. Freshman Deron Steinke (Wapakoneta/Wapakoneta) drew a leadoff walk to open the inning for the Beavers. Tim Kay (Alpharetta, Ga./Blessed Trinity) singled to right field scoring pinch runner Allan Slabaugh (Dalton/Dalton) when the throw went awry. Kyle White (Berne Ind./South Adams) and Curtis Schroeder (Shelby/Shelby) both ripped singles around a hit batter, Corey Conn (London/London), scoring Kay. Freshman Tyler Williams (Lima/Lima Senior) drove a Mike Espin offering down the left field line for a double as the Beavers exploded for six runs on four hits and two errors in the inning.
Espin pitched a perfect seventh inning to give the Gothic Knights a 10-6 victory in the first game of the doubleheader.
Tim Kay finished the game 2-of-4 at the plate to lead the Beavers.
GAME 2 - Bluffton 4, New Jersey City 0
In game two, leadoff hitter Tony Moore (Elida/Elida) singled up the middle and promptly stole second base to open the contest for Bluffton. He advanced to third when Riordan McClain (Upper Sandusky/Upper Sandusky) flied out to right field and scored on a Tim Kay groundout.
The Beavers tacked on three more runs in the fourth inning thanks to a hit batter and a wild pitch. Williams collected a free pass from Rob Motacki to start the inning. He avoided a potential double play when he stole second before Moore grounded out to the third baseman. Motacki hit his third batter of the game before Marcus Wiggins answered the phone in the bullpen. Kay and Schroeder greeted Wiggins with back-to-back singles which plated Williams and moved McClain to third. A Wiggins wild pitch allowed all of the runners to advance, including McClain who scored the Beavers' second run of the inning. White picked up an RBI when he grounded out to third.
Justin Jones (1-0) did the job on the mound allowing the Beavers to rest their weary arms in the bullpen. He fired a one-hit shutout in his first collegiate start. Jones picked up nine strikeouts and faced only four batters over the minimum in his dominating victory over the Gothic Knights.
Curtis Schroeder and Tony Moore both collected two hits while Kay, Schroeder and White all knocked in runs to help the Beavers improve to 2-3 on the season.
McClain (7-of-14) and Schroeder (5-of-10) are leading the Beavers at the plate and Lowell Wyse (Camden, Mich/Hesston J.C.) has knocked in a team-high five runs through the first five games.
The Beavers return to action on Thursday, March 9, 2006 when they take on Worcester Polytechnic Institute. The game is set to start at 7 p.m.