Bluffton vs. Mt. St. Joseph
Beavers fall to Mount St. Joseph in season-opener, 10-5
March 30, 2007
By Kate Barringer
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University baseball team returned to the field on Friday, March 30, 2007, as a part of the healing process following the tragic bus accident that claimed the lives of five baseball team members and the bus driver and his wife on Friday, March 2. The Beavers took an early 3-1 lead over the Lions, but Mt. St. Joseph roared back to take the first game of the series by a final score of 10-5.
After a scoreless opening inning, the Lions lit up the scoreboard first, but the Beavers' Jimmy McMonagle (Ida/Ida) got Bluffton started with a single to left field and Corey Conn (London/London) followed with a shot to left center. McMonagle tied the game when he scored on a throwing error.
Tony Moore (Elida/Elida) started off the third with a double to left center and Tim Kay (Alpharetta, Ga./Blessed Trinity) hit a rocket to left field which scored Moore. Curtis Schroeder (Shelby/Shelby) followed Moore's lead and doubled to right field scoring Kay to give Bluffton a two-run advantage.
The top of the fourth inning was not kind to the Beavers. Bluffton walked the first batter and hit the second batter which opened up the flood gates as Matt Hall followed with a single. The next two batters plated runners off a sacrifice fly and a single. Ryan Meyer scored two more Lions when he singled to right field. In total, the Lions scored five runs off three hits for a 6-3 lead.
The Mount scored three more runs off four hits in the top of the fifth and added another in the sixth but Tyler Sprunger (Berne, Ind./South Adams) and Tyler Hill (London/London) shut down the Lions over the last four innings.
The Beavers tried to make a comeback in the bottom of the eighth inning when Curtis Schroeder drew a walk and Greg Sigg (Maumee/Maumee) followed with a shot to left field. McMonagle moved the runners up a base with a single to right center and Conn drove in Schroeder with a sacrifice fly to center field.
Moore started the final inning by smoking the ball to the shortstop and then advancing to second on a throwing error. Ryan Baightel (Wapakoneta/Wapakoneta) moved Moore with his infield groundout and Moore scored on a balk. The Beavers were unable to score any more runs as they fell, 10-5.
Moore led Bluffton offensively with three hits and he scored two runs in four at-bats. McMonagle also finished with three hits and scored one run. Schroeder ripped two hits and scored one run.
Kay took the loss for the Beavers, allowing nine runs on seven hits in five innings of work on the mound.
Bluffton will be back in action on Saturday, March 31, 2007, when the Beavers host Mount St. Joseph once again for a doubleheader at 12:00 p.m.