Manchester 7, Bluffton 5
Manchester takes advantage of middle innings in 7-5 win at Bluffton
March 31, 2009
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University baseball team jumped on top with two runs in the bottom of the first, but Manchester College plated seven runs in innings four, five and six to come from behind for the 7-5 victory at Memorial Field on Tuesday, March 31, 2009. The Beavers fell to 8-12 overall and 3-5 in the Heartland Conference, while Manchester evened its season record at 9-9 and 2-2 in the HCAC.
Senior right fielder Mike Ramthun (Springfield/Southeastern) opened the first with a two-bagger to left field. He moved to third on a Corey Conn (London) single to right and scored when Colin Denihan uncorked his first of two wild pitches in the opening frame. Conn then stole third before another wild pitch made it 2-0 in favor of the home team. Tyler Stephenson (Springfield/Northeastern) and Curtis Schroeder (Shelby) followed with back-to-back base hits before Denihan settled in and retired the next 10 Bluffton batters.
Bluffton starter Adrian Fritch (Edon) cruised through the first 3.2 innings before a Shawn Baker double to left center in the top of the fourth. Josh Buell tripled him home and a Trey Forbes single to center made it 2-2.
Sophomore Brett Howard (Toledo/St. Francis) drove a two-out Denihan offering over the wall in left center in the bottom of the fourth, giving the Beavers their last lead of the game.
The Spartans again struck gold with two outs and nobody on in the fifth. Matty Miller doubled down the left field line and he came around to score following a Ty Foster single to left. Corey Oetting's seventh bomb of the season made it 5-3 in favor of the visitors midway through the game.
Manchester added two more scores in the top of the sixth thanks to three hits and a perfectly executed squeeze bunt by Brenden Hart.
Cody McPherson (Northwood/Millbury Lake) singled home Conn in the seventh and a Stephen Torres (Lima/Juan Diego) RBI double plated Schroeder an inning later, but the Spartans got the outs when they needed them to secure a 7-5 victory over Bluffton in the first of consecutive Tuesday afternoon clashes between the two HCAC rivals.
McPherson paced the Beavers at the dish, going 3-of-5 with a double and RBI. Howard and Conn both finished with two hits while Conn scored twice.
Adrian Fritch fell to 1-2 on the year after giving up all seven runs in 5.1 innings on the hill. Senior James Hausman (Milford) was nearly perfect in 3.2 innings of standout relief. He limited the Spartans to one hit with one strikeout while giving Bluffton a chance in the late stages of the game.
Bluffton welcomes Anderson University to Memorial Field for a three-game Heartland Conference series this weekend. The first contest is slated for 4 p.m. on Friday, April 3.