Beavers take series from Defiance
Beavers take series from Defiance College but narrowly miss out on trip to HCAC Tournament
By Jordon Bruner, sports information assistant
May 5, 2006
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University baseball team (17-21, 10-11 HCAC) hosted long-time rival Defiance College (15-24, 7-14 HCAC) on Friday, May 5, 2006. The Beavers overcame a late Defiance rally to win the game 4-3. Excellent pitching in the first game on Saturday allowed the Beavers to take the second game of the series by a final score of 3-2. The Yellow Jackets bats came alive in the final game of the series as Defiance picked up the 7-1 victory over the Beavers.
Game 1 - Bluffton 4, Defiance 3
Bluffton jumped out to an early 3-0 lead behind the pitching of Tim Kay (Alpharetta, Ga./Blessed Trinity) and some timely hitting. In the second inning, Greg Sigg (Maumee/Maumee) belted a double off the wall in right center to score Curtis Schroeder (Shelby/Shelby). Ryan Baightel (Wapakoneta/Wapakoneta) followed with an RBI single by to give the Beavers an early 2-0 advantage.
Bluffton made the game 3-0 when Baightel scored on a double steal in the bottom half of the fourth inning.
Kay entered the fifth inning having only allowed two baserunners. Defiance led off the inning with two base hits as a triple by Tipton scored Schwab. One batter later, Jackson grounded out to the shortstop allowing Tipton to cross the plate, making the score 3-2 in favor of the Beavers.
The Beavers tacked on what turned out to be the winning run in the fifth inning. Tony Moore (Elida/Elida) led off the inning with a single down the leftfield line. He stole second and later advanced to third on a single by Riordan McClain (Upper Sandusky/Upper Sandusky). A passed ball plated Moore as Bluffton increased its lead to 4-2.
In the eighth inning, Defiance made it a one run game. With a runner at second base and no outs, Randy Miller (Willard/Willard) came in to relieve Kay and he set the Yellow Jackets down in order to get out of the eighth inning jam. In the ninth, he again retired the Jackets in order to pick up his first save of the year.
Kay improved to 5-4 on the season after giving up three runs on nine hits in seven innings of work.
Sigg finished the day 2-for-3 with an RBI, while Baightel went 1-of-3 with one RBI. Kay helped himself at the plate by picking up two hits on the day.
Game 2 - Bluffton 3, Defiance 2
The Beavers jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the first inning. Moore led off the game by drawing a walk and then stealing second base. McClain reached on an infield single moving Moore to third. Moore scored on an error following a stolen base by McClain. McClain made a wide turn and was tagged out retreating to second. Kay followed with a single down the left field line and then swiped second base. He crossed the plate when the second baseman dropped a flyball in shallow right field
Bluffton added an insurance run, the game-winner, in the third inning to grab a 3-0 lead. Corey Conn (London/London) hit a deep shot over the centerfielder's head for a double to lead off the inning for the Beavers. Conn then moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Tony Gerig (West Unity/Hilltop). Moore hit a drive to left which plated Conn and gave Bluffton a three-run advantage.
Defiance put a run on the board in the bottom of the fourth as Tipton swiped his second base of the inning when he stole home. The Jackets threatened again in the fifth as they had the bases loaded with one out. Miller, for the second game in a row, got Bluffton out of the jam to preserve the lead for the Beavers.
The Yellow Jackets made it a one run game in the sixth. Tipton singled to lead off the inning and then advanced to second on a stolen base. Wack followed with a one-out single in the leftfield gap to score Tipton, making the score 3-2.
Miller pitched a perfect seventh inning to get his second save in two days. He gave up one run on two hits in 2.2 innings. Matt Perkins (Convoy/Crestview) picked up the win for Bluffton as he improves to 2-5 on the season. Perkins pitched the first 4.1 innings giving up one run on three hits while striking out four.
Game 3 - Defiance 7, Bluffton 1
In the final game of the series, Defiance jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the bottom half of the first inning. Tipton continued his success against the Beavers' pitching staff as he led off with a single to left field and later scored on a single to center by Schwab.
Kay hit a one-out double down the right field line to put a man in scoring position in the third inning for Bluffton. Schroeder then hit a deep fly ball to right field that was dropped by the rightfielder allowing Kay to cross the plate. The Bluffton bats then went cold for the remainder of the game as Defiance ace James Yenser held the Beavers hitless over the final four innings.
With the score tied at one, Defiance used a four-run fourth inning to break the game open. Tim Yenser opened the inning with a double down the right field line. Vance and Metzner hit back to back RBI singles to give Defiance the lead for good. A sacrifice fly by Hawkins plated Vance and Metzner scored on a defensive error to give the Jackets a 5-1 lead.
Defiance boosted its lead in the fifth as it put two more runs of the board. Hill hit a single to left center to drive in a run, while a sacrifice fly by Tipton made the final score 7-1.
Tyler Sprunger (Berne, Ind./South Adams) took the loss for the Beavers as he gave up four runs, two earned, in three innings of work. He drops to 2-1 on the season with the loss.
The series concludes the season for the Beavers as they wound up tied for second with Anderson, Mount St. Joseph and Transylvania at 10-11 in the HCAC. Due to the tiebreaker, the Beavers lost the season series to all of the other teams tied for second place, they just missed playing in the conference tournament.