Manchester 18, Bluffton 16
Manchester completes season sweep with 18-16 win over Beavers
April 8, 2009
NORTH MANCHESTER, Ind. - The Bluffton University baseball team pasted eight runs on the scoreboard in the top of the first, but Manchester rallied for an 18-16 victory on Wednesday, April 8, 2009. The Beavers slipped to 8-16 overall and 3-9 in the Heartland Conference after a 3-1 start in HCAC play, while the home team improved to 13-9 and 6-2 in the conference.
Bluffton pounded out seven hits, including a two-RBI triple by Corey Conn (London) in the first, before adding a run in the third, five in the fourth and two more in the fifth. However, the Spartans scored all 18 of their runs in the first six innings to complete a season sweep of the Beavers.
Senior Curtis Schroeder (Shelby) bashed the Manchester pitching to the tune of a 5-of-6 afternoon at the plate with a home run, two RBI and three runs scored. Chris Bauman (Milford) showed the form Bluffton fans have been accustomed to over the past four years, going 4-of-6 with three runs scored. Freshman center fielder Nick Broyles (Toledo/Whitmer) drove in four runs with three hits, including a homer, and three runs scored. Brett Howard (Toledo/DeSales) tallied three hits, while Stephen Torres (Lima/Juan Diego), Tyler Stephenson (Springfield/Northeastern) and Cory Stephens (Lima/Bath) all finished with multiple safeties.
Starter Adrian Fritch (Edon) went 3.1 innings on the mound and gave up nine runs on 10 hits. Nathan Blanton (Cincinnati/LaSalle) fell to 0-3 after allowing seven runs on five hits in just two innings of relief before Matt Perkins (Convoy/Crestview) was called on to stop the bleeding with one out in the bottom of the sixth. Perkins worked 2.2 innings of shutout ball, but Bluffton failed to push any runs across the plate during the final four innings.
The Beavers return to the diamond on Thursday, April 9, when Bluffton hosts non-conference foe Otterbein College. The contest is slated to start at 4 p.m.