Bluffton sweeps Ohio Northern in a pair of slugfests
Beavers win a couple wild ones with ONU
By Jordon Bruner, sports information assistant
April 12, 2006
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University baseball team (12-12, 5-4 HCAC) hosted a doubleheader with local rival Ohio Northern on Wednesday, April 12, 2006. The Beavers swept the twinbill, mounting a pair of comebacks to win 18-17 in both games. Hitting was not a problem for either team in both games. They combined for a whopping 70 runs in a total of 14 innings. The fielding, however, left much to be desired as the two teams racked up 13 errors on the day.
GAME 1 - Bluffton 18, Ohio Northern 17
In the first game, Bluffton jumped out to an early 2-1 lead when Tony Moore (Elida/Elida) scored on hit by Tim Kay (Alpharetta, Ga./Blessed Trinity) following a fielding error by the third baseman. Kay crossed the plate on a passed ball two batters later.
Ohio Northern took the lead in the top of third, as they scored four runs on six hits. Nickley and Bahm each went yard for the Polar Bears in the inning.
Trailing 10-4 in the bottom of the sixth, Bluffton had six runners cross the plate to knot the game at 10. Deron Steinke (Wapakoneta/St. Mary's) started off the scoring with a double to right center to drive in Chris Bauman (Milford/Milford). Anthony Bryant (Reynoldsburg/Reynoldsburg) came in to pinch run for Steinke and he later scored when Moore reached base on an error by the second baseman. Curtis Schroeder (Shelby/Shelby) scalded a double to center field to drive in two runs. Schroeder crossed the plate when pinch hitter Cory Conn (London/London) launched a 420 foot bomb to centerfield that tied the game at 10.
Ohio Northern responded to the Beavers' big sixth inning by plating seven runners in the top of the seventh. The Polar Bears had five hits in the inning as Conkey and Bahm each drove in two runs with singles. Neace put the final three runs on the board for ONU with his home run to center field.
Trailing 17-10 going to the bottom half of the last inning, Bluffton put together an amazing comeback. Bauman and Lowell Wyse (Camden, Mich./Hesston J.C.) got things started with singles to lead off the inning. Moore then drove in Bauman with a single to left field. A throwing error by the pitcher allowed Wyse to score, and two batters later Ryan Baightel (Wapakoneta/Wapakoneta) drew a walk to score Schroeder. Bauman got his second hit of the inning with a single to right center that drove in two. Baightel then tied the game on a passed ball. Wyse's second hit of the inning proved to be the game winner as his double to right center scored pinch runner Allen Slabaugh (Dalton/Dalton).
Schroeder ended the game 2-of-3 with a home run and four RBI's, while Bauman was a perfect 3-of-3 with two runs batted in. Moore continued his excellent hitting, going 3-for-5 while scoring three runs.
Tyler Sprunger (Berne Ind./South Adams), 1-0, got the win for the Beavers as he went one inning, giving up one hit and one run while striking out two.
GAME 2 - Bluffton 18, Ohio Northern 17
Game two proved to be just as exciting as Bluffton won 18-17 despite blowing a five run lead in the top of the seventh inning. The two teams had troubles in the field as they combined for eight errors.
Bluffton scored seven runs in the bottom of the third to take a 10-7 lead. Baightel started the scoring off with a single to left field that scored Steinke. Two batters later, Moore hit a double to right center to drive in Baightel and Conn. Kay then singled to left center to plate Moore and Steve Bogner (Willard/Willard). Schroeder hit a sacrifice fly to right field that allowed both Kay and McClain to score following the right fielder's diving catch, and a heated discussion ensued about whether or not Kay left second before the catch.
Ohio Northern once again scored seven runs in the top of the seventh inning to take a 17-15 advantage. Bluffton responded by plating three runs in the bottom half of the inning to win the game 18-17. Moore tied the game with a single down the right field line that scored Bryant and Baightel. Following an intentional walk to Kay, Schroeder watched four straight balls with the bases loaded to push the winning run across the plate.
Schroeder ended the second game with five RBI's, while Kay and Moore each drove in four.
Aaron Krieger (Ida, Mich./Ida) got the win for the Beavers despite giving up two runs on two hits and two walk in 0.2 innings of work. Krieger improved to 2-1 on the season.
Bluffton returns to action on Friday, April 14, 2006, when it travels to Anderson for a Heartland Conference doubleheader. The first game is scheduled to begin at 12 p.m.