Manchester takes first two from Bluffton
Spartans open HCAC play with a pair of wins over Bluffton
March 24, 2012
By: Martin Kluk, sports information assistant
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University baseball team dropped a doubleheader in its first HCAC action of the season against Manchester College on Saturday, March 24, 2012. They fell in the first game (6-0) and then again in the second (17-5). Bluffton dropped to 6-10 (0-2 HCAC), while Manchester improved to 10-7 (2-0 HCAC) on the year.
In the first game, the Beavers struggled to get the offense going as they were blanked by Manchester's Bryce Murphy. Bluffton was on the verge in the top of the first with runners on the corners and just one down, but a strikeout and groundout ended the inning.
Murphy continued to dominate through the middle innings, before Bluffton had a last ditch effort in the sixth when they loaded the bases with one out. However, back to back flyballs ended the threat for the Beavers.
Miles Richardson (Granville/Newark Catholic) fell to 2-3 on the season. He went five innings, surrendering four runs on seven hits with four walks and four strikeouts. Tyler Wright (Troy), with three hits, and Tyler Stephenson (Springfield/Northwestern), with two, did their part at the plate as they had five of Bluffton's seven safeties.
In the second matchup, Bluffton's offense was able to put runs on the board, but the Spartans crossed the dish 17 times in the game. Manchester's Justin Scott tossed the second complete game of the day against the Beavers as he went all nine and only gave up one earned run.
Kyle Niermann (Napoleon) got the Beavers on the board first when he led off the game with a solo shot. After Manchester put up a six spot in the bottom of the second, Bluffton responded with four tallies in the top of the third. The inning was fueled by two Spartan errors that loaded the bases for Wright. He came up big with a two-RBI single before Nick Broyles (Toledo/Whitmer) swatted a two-run homer to make it 6-5 Manchester after two and a half frames.
Unfortunately, Manchester continued to pound the ball, scoring two runs in three different innings along with five more in the bottom of the fourth, leading to the 17-5 victory over the Beavers.
Richardson and Stephenson led Bluffton with two hits apiece. Wright and Broyles each had two RBI while Niermann led the squad with two runs scored. Sophomore Ben Roeschley (Graymont Ill./Flanagan) took the loss after giving up eight runs on nine hits in just 2.2 innings.
The Beavers wrap up the three-game set tomorrow (Sunday, March 25) at Manchester. The nine-inning contest is slated for 1 p.m.