Bluffton vs. Transylvania
Bluffton splits first two games at Transy before falling 11-10 in 10 innings on Sunday
By Bill Hanefeld Jr., sports information director
April 23, 2006
LEXINGTON, Ky. - The Bluffton University baseball team traveled to Lexington, Kentucky, for a three-game series with the Pioneers of Transylvania. The Beavers split the first two games on Saturday, April 22, winning the opener 8-4 before falling in game two by a score of 8-1. Transy rallied in the eighth, ninth and tenth innings to pull off the come from behind victory over Bluffton on Sunday, April 23, by a score of 11-10.
GAME 1 - Bluffton 8, Transylvania 4
The Beavers exploded for five runs, all they would need, in a breakout first inning at Transylvania. Tony Moore (Elida/Elida), who going into the Transylvania series was one hit shy of Matt Henderson's 1988 record of 50 hits in a season, singled to open the game. Riordan McClain (Upper Sandusky/Upper Sandusky) and Curtis Schroeder (Shelby/Shelby) followed with base knocks allowing Moore to score. A Greg Sigg (Maumee/Maumee) groundout left both runners in scoring position for Bauman who walked to load the bases. Sophomore Ryan Baightel (Wapakoneta/Wapakoneta) drove a Cunningham offering over the fence down the left field line for a grand slam and a 5-0 Bluffton lead midway through the first inning.
Transylvania put its first run on the board in the bottom of the fourth. Vasse ripped a ground rule double to left field before Lawson walked and Paddock singled to center. With the bases loaded, Moser picked up Vasse with a sacrifice fly to right field.
Moore broke Henderson's 18-year old record when he lined a one-out single to right field in the top of the fifth. McClain quickly plated Moore with his double to the gap in left center.
A leadoff walk to Weining in the Transylvania fifth paid dividends for the Pioneers. A Cianciola single to left field and a fielder's choice put runners on first and second for Wood who drove in a run with his double down the left field line.
The Beavers tacked on two insurance runs in the sixth. Sigg opened the frame with a single to third base. He moved to second on a wild pitch before a Chris Bauman (Milford/Milford) groundout put him 90 feet from home plate. A Baightel sacrifice fly plated Sigg before Corey Conn (London/London) went yard to give the Beavers an 8-2 advantage.
Weining smacked a two-run homer in the bottom of the sixth to make it 8-4 but that was the end of the scoring as Tim Kay (Alpharetta, Ga./Blessed Trinity) set the Pioneers down in order in the seventh to seal the victory.
Tony Moore continued his torrid hitting going 2-of-4 with two runs scored as he now holds the Bluffton record for most hits in a season. McClain went 2-for-3 at the dish with one RBI and one run scored. Baightel did the damage as he went 2-for-2 with five RBI's, including his first inning grand slam.
Tim Kay improved to 4-3 on the year with his complete game victory. He gave up four runs on seven hits.
GAME 2 - Transylvania 8, Bluffton 1
The Pioneers struck first with a run in the second inning. Paddock opened the inning with a single to left field. He moved to third on a Weining double and crossed the plate when Eaton singled to center.
Transy put three runs on the board in the home half of the third to take a 4-0 lead over the Beavers. Kuczek singled to left field and moved to second when the ball was not fielded cleanly. With one out, Vasse singled down the right field line before Lawson drove a Bluffton offering out of the park for a three-run homer.
Following a Pioneer run in the fifth inning, Conn drilled a leadoff home run over the wall in right field for Bluffton's only run of the game.
Transylvania's Kuczek hit a three-run dinger in the bottom of the sixth to end the scoring and give the Pioneers an 8-1 victory which tied the series at one game apiece heading into Sunday's rubber match.
Moore, who has now hit safely in 16 consecutive games, was 2-for-3 in the loss. McClain finished the day a perfect 3-of-3 while Conn's solo shot provided the only scoring for the Beavers.
Matt Perkins (Convoy/Crestview) took the loss for Bluffton as he gave up eight runs on 11 hits in six innings of work on the mound. He struck out three and walked one.
GAME 3 - Transylvania 11, Bluffton 10 (10 innings)
Transy put together three hits in the bottom of the first to take a 2-0 lead after one inning.
Tim Kay singled up the middle in the third inning to score Lowell Wyse (Camden, Mi./Hesston) who had reached on a fielder's choice and moved to second when McClain was hit by a pitch.
Sigg led off the fourth inning with a solo home run to left field, knotting the game at two.
Bauman and Kuczek singled with one out in the bottom of the fourth to put runners on the corners. Wood picked up Bauman with a sacrifice fly to center field.
With Wyse on second base in the fifth inning, McClain drove a Luking offering over the right field fence to give Bluffton a 4-3 lead.
The Pioneers took advantage of two hits, a throwing error and sacrifice fly to put two runs on the board in the bottom of the fifth, reclaiming the lead 5-4.
With two outs and runners on first and second, Tony Moore drove a double to left center plating Baightel and Conn and giving him a hit in his 17th consecutive game. McClain continued his hot hitting as he singled to center field scoring Moore and giving the Beavers a 7-5 advantage.
Transylvania used three hits, a wild pitch and a Bluffton error to reclaim the lead, 8-7, in the bottom of the eighth inning.
Moore reached on a fielding error to open the ninth frame. He moved to second on a McClain sacrifice bunt. Tim Kay was dealt a free pass and he and Moore moved into scoring position on a wild pitch. Schroeder plated Moore with a single to left field and Sigg picked up Kay with a sacrifice fly to give the Beavers a 9-8 lead heading to the bottom of the ninth.
Eaton reached on a Bluffton error to open the bottom of the ninth. He moved to second on a wild pitch before Fields executed a sacrifice bunt that put him on third. Eaton crossed the plate when the Beavers uncorked their second wild pitch of the inning.
Baightel took first base when he was hit by a pitch in the top of the tenth. He moved to second on a Conn sacrifice. Two wild pitches later, the Beavers had a 10-9 lead going to the bottom of the inning.
Transy put together three hits and used a wild pitch to overtake Bluffton, 11-10, in the home half of the tenth and claim the series, 2-1.
Riordan McClain went 3-of-3 with 3 RBI's and a run scored for the Beavers. He finished the series 8-for-9 with 4 RBI's. Tony Moore was 1-of-6 with two RBI's and two runs scored to keep his 17 game hitting streak alive. Baightel and Wyse both scored twice and Sigg knocked in two runs for Bluffton.
Bluffton returns to action on Tuesday, April 25, when it hosts St. Francis for a doubleheader which will start at 2 p.m.