Mount St. Joseph 4, Bluffton 3
Mount St. Joseph comes back for 4-3 win over Beavers
April 1, 2010
CINCINNATI, Ohio - The Bluffton University baseball team saw a 3-2 lead late in the game slip away as Mount St. Joseph pulled out the 4-3 victory on Thursday, April 1, 2010. Bluffton, which dropped its fifth straight game, fell to 7-12 overall and 0-5 in the Heartland Conference, while The Mount improved to 10-8 overall and 1-0 in HCAC play.
Following three scoreless frames to start the game, Bluffton finally broke the ice with a run in the top of the fourth. Freshman Michael Knorr (Pickerington/North) led off with a single to left field. One out later, he went to third on a Stephen Torres (Lima/Juan Diego) base hit to right center. Knorr made it 1-0 on Kyle Niermann's (Napoleon) groundout to first base. MSJ immediately answered with a Denny homer to left field in the bottom of the inning.
The Lions went ahead 2-1 thanks to a Bluffton error, a sacrifice bunt and a Norton RBI double to right in the home half of the fifth.
Bluffton came back to knot the game with a score in the top of the seventh. Torres singled to left center to open the inning. A Niermann sacrifice bunt and wild pitch allowed Torres to move to third for Nick Broyles (Toledo/Whitmer) who picked him up with a base knock to right center. A Tyler Stephenson (Springfield/Northwestern) solo shot in the eighth put the Beavers on top by a 3-2 count with just six outs needed for Bluffton's first HCAC victory of the season.
A leadoff walk in the bottom of the inning came back to haunt Bluffton when Mount St. Joseph took advantage of a sacrifice bunt and infield single before Denny came up with an RBI single down the left field line. The Beavers were unable to put any runs on the scoreboard in the ninth as a double play ball ended the top of the frame. The Lions needed just a leadoff single in the home half of the inning to nail down a victory in their 2010 HCAC opener when Bluffton hit a batter and walked the next two to hand MSJ a 4-3 win.
Adrian Fritch (Edon) threw six superb innings in his first start since Florida. He allowed two runs, just one earned, on three hits with four strikeouts and no free passes. Tyler Stephenson went 3-of-4 with a homer to lead the Bluffton offense. Broyles and Torres both rapped two hits. Cody McPherson (Northwood/Millbury Lake) fell to 2-4 with the loss. He gave up two runs on three hits with three walks in 2.1 innings on the hill.
Bluffton contines its series at Xavier with two games against The Mount on Friday, April 2. The first contest is slated for 12 p.m.