Wilmington 19, Bluffton 9
Beavers drop slugfest to Wilmington in home opener
By Rustin Pickett, sports information assistant
March 29, 2006
BLUFFTON, Ohio. - The Bluffton University baseball team hosted Wilmington College on Wednesday March 28, 2006 in a non-conference matchup. The Beavers fell to 7-8 with the 19-9 loss to the Quakers who improved to 5-4 on the season.
Wilmington 19, Bluffton 9
After a strong first inning that tallied two runs on three hits, the Beavers saw their bats come to a halt as Wilmington's started to heat up. Bluffton saw their team headed down the right path as sophomore second baseman Tony Moore (Elida/Elida) started the home half of the first inning off with a single to right field followed by a stolen base. With one out and a runner in scoring position, right fielder Tim Kay (Alpharetta, Ga. /Blessed Trinity) scorched a double off the wall that plated Moore, but the Beavers were not satisfied with just one run. Senior pitcher Riordan McClain (Upper Sandusky/Upper Sandusky) helped his cause when he put down a perfect bunt for a hit down the third base line which moved Kay to third. McClain timed up the pitcher and was able to snatch second to put himself in scoring position. Sophomore first baseman Jimmy McMonagle (Ida, Mich./Ida) completed the task with a sacrifice fly to left field that allowed Kay to score from third and gave the Beavers their second run of the inning.
The Quakers weren't ready to roll over and showed new life in the top half of the second inning. With one out and no one on base, Wolverton showed patience as he drew a walk from McClain sparking a rally. After back to back singles by Krieger and Harter, Wilmington had men in scoring position. Buehner came through in the clutch with a single up the middle plating two Quakers and tying the ball game. He then stole second and advanced to third on a passed ball that also allowed Harter to score. Clark picked up Buehner with a double and rounded out the scoring for Wilmington in the second.
Bluffton was not able to muster up any runs in the bottom half of the inning, but Wilmington didn't cool down as the third inning started. Kroger walked then later advanced into scoring position on a single hit by Morris down the left field line. Both runners advanced one base when Wolverton laid down a sacrifice bunt. Krieger plated Morris with a sacrifice fly to centerfield and the Quakers added to their lead by one run.
The third inning was a pleasant one for the Beavers as they were able to score two
runs. Kyle White (Berne, Ind. /South Adams) smoked a single to left and later scored on a single by
senior catcher Steve Bogner (Willard/Willard). Freshman shortstop Ryan Baightel (Wapakoneta/Wapakoneta) reached base on a fielder's choice and later scored on another
fielder's choice hit by left fielder Tony Gerig (West Unity/Hilltop).
Pitcher McClain owned the fourth inning as he kept the Quakers scoreless and stranded a man on base. He was not satisfied with his showing on the mound and showed some power at the plate when he belted a solo homerun over the right field fence. This was the only run scored by the Beavers, but it tied the game going into the fifth inning.
Bluffton saw the wheels fall off as it struggled in the top portion of innings five
and eight. The Beavers gave up nine runs on eight hits and two errors. Later in the
game, the Quakers put five runs on the board in the eighth inning to give them 19
for the game. The Beavers tried to chip away as they answered back with four runs
over the last five innings but the deficit proved to be too much.
Senior pitcher McClain took the loss for the Bluffton and fell to (1-1) while Nick Borgman picked up his first win of the season (1-0).
Tony Moore led the Beavers with four hits and two runs scored in six trips to the plate. Tim Kay went 2-of-4 at the dish and knocked in four runs. McClain finished with two hits, including his solo shot to right field. Curtis Schroeder (Shelby/Shelby) hit an inside-the-park home run in his appearance as a late inning pinch hitter.