Manchester 11, Bluffton 10
Bluffton rally falls just short in 11-10 loss at Manchester
April 1, 2008
NORTH MANCHESTER, Ind. - The Bluffton University baseball team banged out 20 hits at Manchester, but the Spartans held on for an 11-10 Heartland Conference victory on Tuesday, April 1, 2008. The Beavers fell to 8-11 overall and 2-5 in the HCAC, while Manchester improved to 13-10 with a 6-2 mark in conference play.
With two outs and A.J. Ramthun (Springfield/Southeastern) in scoring position, older brother Mike Ramthun (Springfield/Southeastern) drove an RBI single to right field for the 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning.
Foster plated Williams, who doubled to lead off the bottom of the first, with a two-out single to right field which knotted the score at one.
Following a walk to Chris Bauman (Milford/Milford) and a Curtis Schroeder (Shelby/Shelby) base hit, Corey Conn (London/London) moved the runners into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt in the second inning. Jimmy McMonagle (Ida, Mich./Ida) singled home Bauman and Tony Moore (Elida/Elida) lifted a sacrifice fly to center. An RBI single by Tim Kay (Alpharetta, Ga./Blessed Trinity) gave the Beavers a 4-1 lead.
Manchester used a Baker grand slam in the home half of the third to give the Spartans their first lead of the game, 5-4. Austin Fritch (Edon/Edon) retired the next three batters to get out of the inning.
An infield groundout by Miller in the bottom of the fourth allowed Williams to cross the plate for a 6-4 Manchester lead.
Bauman picked up Cody McPherson (Millbury/Lake), who laced a one-out double, with a base hit to left field in the top of the fifth inning.
In the home half of the fifth, Manchester pushed its lead to three runs when it took advantage of two singles and two sacrifice bunts to make the score 8-5.
A two-out rally in the top of the seventh netted two runs for the Beavers. McPherson hit his fourth home run of the season to right center, a solo shot. A bases loaded McMonagle single sent Bauman home to make the score 8-7 in favor of the home team.
The Spartans extended their lead by three runs in the eighth thanks to four hits and a Bluffton error. Buell homered to start the inning. A sacrifice bunt set up the second run and Pietrowitz made it a four-run game when he executed a perfect squeeze bunt with the bases full.
McPherson and Bauman both singled to open the top of the ninth frame. Schroeder delivered a double to gap in left center, scoring both runners. A McMonagle groundout plated Schroeder to make it a one-run game but following a single by Tony Moore, Egnor came on and retired A.J. Ramthun for his first save of the season.
McPherson went 4-of-5 with three runs scored and one RBI. Bauman, Schroeder and McMonagle all finished the contest with three hits, while Moore and A.J. Ramthun both collected two hits. McMonagle led the Beavers with three RBI. Bauman scored three runs and Schroeder crossed the plate twice and drove in a pair of runs. Bluffton finished the game 20-of-43 while Manchester went 15-for-35 at the dish.
Fritch (1-1) was tagged with the loss after giving up five runs, including a third inning grand slam, on six hits in just three innings on the mound.
The Beavers return to action on Friday, April 4, when they travel to Rose-Hulman for the first contest of an important three-game Heartland Conference series. The first game against the Engineers is slated to start at 4 p.m.