Bluffton 16, Defiance 7
Bluffton completes sweep of Jackets with 16-7 win at Memorial Field
April 22, 2009
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University baseball team waited out a game-time rain shower to white-wash rival Defiance College 16-7 on Wednesday, April 22, 2009. Following the season sweep of the Yellow Jackets on Senior Day, Bluffton stands at 11-19 overall and 5-11 in the Heartland Conference while Defiance fell to 6-25 on the season and 2-13 in HCAC play.
Defiance took a quick 1-0 lead in the top of the first. Michael Dushane opened the frame with a single up the middle and moved into scoring position on a failed pickoff attempt that went to the fence. A sacrifice bunt followed by Kirk Jesse's sacrifice fly to center put the Jackets on top.
In the bottom of the second, Bluffton used two hits to make it 2-1. A Corey Conn (London) infield single that was sandwiched between a Curtis Schroeder (Shelby) hit by pitch and a walk to Brett Howard (Toledo/St. Francis) loaded the bases for Stephen Torres (Lima/Juan Diego) who singled home Schroeder. Cory Stephens (Lima/Bath) picked up Conn with a sacrifice fly to right before a double play ended the inning.
The Yellow Jackets took advantage of two Bluffton errors in the third to paste three runs on the scoreboard, but the Beavers responded with three of their own to make it 5-4 in favor of the home team. Mike Ramthun (Springfield/Southeastern) opened with a double and he scored following Schroeder's infield single. Conn went yard down the right field line for a two-run shot and 5-4 lead.
A Tim Pitro two-run homer in the top of the fifth gave Defiance its last lead of the contest as Bluffton rallied for 11 runs over the next three frames. Ramthun, Chris Bauman (Milford) and McPherson all singled to load the sacks in the home half of the fifth with no outs. Schroeder popped out and Conn went down swinging before Howard launched a grand slam down the right field line for a 9-6 Bluffton margin.
Allen Slabaugh (Dalton) led off the sixth with a bloop double down the first base line and he went to third on Ramthun's sacrifice bunt. Chris Bauman plated Slabaugh with a base knock before McPherson smoked a liner past the shortstop. Schroeder's two-RBI two-bagger to the wall in right center made it 12-6 in favor of the Beavers.
Torres singled to right in the bottom of the seventh and he found himself on third two wild pitches later. A pickoff throw that went awry allowed him to score before McPherson drove a Defiance offering over the wall in center field for Bluffton's final three runs of the game. Defiance added a meaningless score in the eighth, but the Beavers nailed down the season sweep with a 16-7 thrashing of the Yellow Jackets.
Conn and McPherson both went 3-of-5 to pace the Bluffton hitters. Ramthun, Bauman, Torres and Schroeder all added two safeties to the Bluffton hit parade. Howard drove in four with his grand slam, while McPherson, who scored three times, plated three with his dinger. Schroeder and Conn both drove in two runs. Five Beavers scored twice in the 16-7 victory as Bluffton pounded out 16 hits on the afternoon.
Adrian Fritch (Edon) used Bluffton's hot hitting to improve to 3-2 on the season. He gave up six runs, only three earned, on eight hits in six innings on the hill. Seniors James Hausman (Milford) and Matt Perkins (Convoy/Crestview) and junior Cody McPherson (Northwood/Millbury Lake) all worked one inning of relief to help Bluffton finish off the Yellow Jackets.
The Beavers return to action on Thursday, April 23, when they travel to Ohio Northern for a tussle with the Polar Bears. The contest is slated to start at 4:30 PM.