Bluffton 10, Defiance 2
Beavers drop Yellow Jackets 10-2 at Defiance
April 3, 2012
By: Martin Kluk, sports information intern
DEFIANCE, Ohio - The Bluffton Beavers baseball team chalked up their third win in conference play as they dominated arch-rival Defiance 10-2 on Tuesday, April 3. The victory pushed the Beavers' overall record to 10-12 (3-4 HCAC), while the Yellow Jackets fell to 7-13 (0-7 HCAC). It was Bluffton's fourth straight win over Defiance and the ninth in the last 10 games with the Jackets.
Bluffton got on the board right away with a little small ball in the first inning. Kyle Niermann (Napoleon) led off the game with a single and Miles Richardson (Granville/Newark Catholic) moved him to second on a sac bunt. Tyler Stephenson (Springfield/Northwestern) smacked an RBI single to bring home Niermann and put the Beavers up 1-0 in the first.
Great pitching ensued from both sides over the first five innings as the score remained 1-0. But once again, the Beaver bats come through with a huge inning in the middle of the game as the visitors plated six tallies in the top of the sixth. Tyler Wright (Troy) was the first run to cross the plate on a double to center by Tim Webb (Delaware/Worthington Christian).
After a foulout which gave Bluffton two in the inning, the bottom of the lineup came through in the clutch. Senior Matt McKinney (Columbus Grove/Bath) rapped a single to plate Webb from second. After another single by Anthony Cianci (Ravenna/Southeast) put runners on first and second, Niermann stepped to the plate and belted a three-run bomb to right field to put the Beavers up 6-0. Bluffton then added another run on a single by Richardson and a double by Stephenson, making it 7-0 going into the bottom half of the sixth.
Freshman Halen Core (Reynoldsburg) was dominant as he continued through the sixth, holding Defiance scoreless on five hits while striking out four before turning it over to the bullpen. Defiance put up its first run in the bottom of the seventh to end the shutout, but the Beavers truly slammed the door on the Yellow Jackets when Nick Broyles (Toledo/Whitmer) drilled the second three-run shot of the game to make it 10-1. Defiance scored a run in the bottom of the ninth, but that was all as Bluffton wrapped up a big victory over the rival Jackets.
The offense was paced by a huge day from Webb as he finished a perfect 5-of-5 with two doubles while adding an RBI and a run. His five hits equaled the school record for a single game. Big hits also came from Niermann, who was 3-for-6 with three runs batted in and two scores, and Stephenson who had three knocks and two RBI.
Core earned the win on the hill for the Beavers, staying perfect at 4-0 on the year. Mark Hadaya (Beavercreek), Ryan Leugers (Botkins), and Kyle Stover (Tipp City/Tippecanoe) each fired an inning of relief to close out the game.
The Beavers return home for a three-game Heartland Conference series with Transylvania this weekend starting on Good Friday, April 6. The first contest is scheduled for 4 p.m. at Memorial Field.