Beavers take one from Manchester
Bluffton sets school record for wins with victory over Manchester
May 7, 2011
By: Josh Bruner, sports information assistant
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University baseball team hosted the Manchester College
Spartans on Friday, May 6 and Saturday, May 7 for a three-game series to end the season
for the Beavers. The first game was suspended by rain in the middle of the fifth and
finished on Saturday after the two games originally scheduled were completed. The
Beavers picked up an 8-6 win in the suspended contest after the Spartans took the first
two games on Saturday, 15-6 and 11-5. Prior to the second contest on Saturday, Bluffton
honored senior pitchers Sean Jaynes (Toledo/Maumee) and Adrian Fritch (Edon) for their four years of dedication to Bluffton Baseball.
In the contest which was started on Friday afternoon, the Spartans put single runs on the board in both the first and third innings. The Beaver offense broke out in the fourth as they plated three. Nick Broyles (Toledo/Whitmer) crossed the plate on a wild pitch before Tyler Stephenson (Springfield/North) scored on a groundout by Tyler Wright (Troy). Airic Steagall (Hillsboro) made it 3-2 thanks to a Tim Webb (Delaware) sacrifice fly.
Just about 24 hours later, Bluffton added another run in the bottom of the fifth to take a 4-2 lead. Stephenson singled to drive in Kyle Niermann (Napoleon) from second. The score remained unchanged during the next two innings before Manchester rallied with four tallies in the eighth inning, giving the Spartans a 6-4 lead.
The Beavers responded with a spurt of their own. Broyles and Stephenson crossed the plate on a Spartan throwing error. Wright and Tim Webb also scored on an error later in the inning to give the Beavers an 8-6 lead going into the ninth. Stephenson, seeing his first action on the mound this season, held the Spartans scoreless in the ninth for the save. The win went to Tyler Gibson (Sylvania/Southview) who improved to 2-3. The loss was credited to Brian Tarnowski who fell to 0-2.
Leading the way for the Beavers was Stephenson, going 2-of-3 from the plate while driving in one run and scoring two times. Broyles finished the game 2-of-4 with two runs scored.
The first game Saturday started slowly for the Beavers. Manchester put up four runs in the first, four runs in the second and five runs in the third to take a commanding 13-0 lead after just three innings of play.
The Bluffton offense came around in the fifth. Five consecutive singles by the Beavers drove home Wright, Webb, and Kyle Trainer (Mechanicsburg). Kevin Martin (Bryan) crossed the plate on a fielder's choice and Miles Richardson (Granville/Newark Cath.) made it 13-5 following a Stephenson sacrifice fly to center.
Manchester added one in both the sixth and seventh to push the lead to 15-5 going into the bottom of the seventh. Richardson drove home Martin with a base knock, but the Spartans closed it out for a 15-6 win over the home team in game one.
Leading the hit column for the Beavers was Martin who went 2-of-3 at the plate with an RBI and two runs scored. Webb also went 2-of-3 and scored once. Richardson drove in two runs and went 2-of-4 while crossing the plate once. Niermann knocked in two runs.
The win went to Justin Scott (4-4) as he tossed a complete game, while Miles Richardson fell to 2-2 with the loss.
The Spartans once again jumped to an early lead after putting up one run on the board in the first and third innings of game two. The Beavers pushed their first run across in the fourth frame when Stephenson drove home Broyles.
Manchester added another run in the fifth, but the Beavers rallied for a 4-3 lead with three tallies in the home half. Martin was the first run to cross the plate on a Richardson sacrifice fly. Broyles doubled to drive home Niermann. The RBI by Broyles gave him 114 for his career, breaking Kyle Alberson's career record of 113. Stephenson followed with a double of his own to drive in Broyles for the third run of the inning.
Manchester put up two runs in the sixth to make the score 5-4. Bluffton came back from a short rain delay with two hits and a run as Martin doubled home Trainer. The teams were tied 5-5 at the end of six.
Manchester responded with two runs in the seventh and four in the eighth, while holding Bluffton scoreless in the last three innings to pull away for an 11-5 victory.
Martin led the offense with three hits in four trips to the plate, driving in one run and scoring one. Broyles added two hits, two runs and his record-setting RBI. Niermann broke Tyler Stephenson's school record with his 68th hit of the season, a two-bagger in the fifth.
Bryce Murphy went the distance in improving to 9-1 on the season. The loss went to Kelly Barnes (Toledo/Christian) who finished the season 5-2.
The Bluffton University baseball team (19-20, 11-13 HCAC) finished the season with a school-record 19 wins as well as a school-record 11 victories in Heartland Conference play. After the three games, the Spartans moved to 26-13 overall with a 17-7 mark in the HCAC. Manchester secured the #1 seed in the upcoming Heartland Conference tournament which the Spartans will host next week.