Bluffton 7, Franklin 6
Bluffton stuns HCAC champion Franklin, 7-6
May 3, 2009
FRANKLIN, Ind. - The Bluffton University baseball team stunned HCAC regular season champion Franklin College 7-6 on Sunday, May 3, after sending the 2009 seniors home Saturday night so that they could participate in commencement exercises today. The Beavers wrapped up their season with a record of 13-24, including a mark of 7-15 in the Heartland Conference. Franklin fell to 28-9 (17-4 HCAC), but the Grizzlies return to action next Thursday when they host the conference tournament.
After a scoreless first for the new-look Beavers, Franklin capitalized on consecutive no-out walks to take a 3-0 lead after one inning. Swienconek made it 1-0 with his RBI groundout and Boone followed with a single through the left side that plated Sanders. Boone stole second and then third before an errant throw allowed him to cross the plate.
The Beavers quickly answered the call with three runs of their own in the top of the second. Brennan Bauman (Milford) singled with one out and consecutive hit batters loaded the sacks for Greg Bergstedt (Napoleon/Patrick Henry) who picked up the RBI and reached safely on a Franklin error, one of six the home team made on the day. A walk to Kyle Trainer (Mechanicsburg) pushed Brett Howard (Toledo/St. Francis) home before another Grizzly miscue allowed Torres to knot the game at three.
Howard picked up Cody McPherson (Northwood/Millbury Lake) with a sacrifice fly to center in the third, but Franklin used a Bluffton error to keep the game tied at four after three innings of play.
Bluffton scored single runs in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings to open up a 7-4 lead over the home team. Stephen Torres (Lima/Juan Diego) singled home Bauman in the fifth. Cory Stephens (Lima/Bath) singled and came around to score following two Franklin errors in the sixth and Kyle Trainer made it 7-4 with his squeeze bunt in the seventh frame
A two-run double by Swienconek in the home half of the inning cut the Bluffton lead to a run, but the Beavers' pitching did the job in the last two frames to secure a 7-6 win over the Grizzlies.
Kelly Barnes (Toledo/Christian) turned in a solid six innings on the hill, limiting the Franklin offense, which entered the weekend hitting over .350 as a team, to four runs on three hits with three strikeouts and four walks. Junior Cody McPherson picked up his first save with three strikeouts over the final five batters of the game.
Brennan Bauman led the Bluffton offense with three hits, including a double, and two runs scored. Kyle Trainer knocked in two runs and Stephen Torres crossed the plate twice in Bluffton's 2009 baseball finale.