Anderson 12, Bluffton 8
Anderson recovers to take series opener 12-8
April 13, 2012
By: Martin Kluk, sports information intern
ANDERSON, Ind. - Late-inning magic from the Bluffton baseball team was not enough to overcome the conference leading Anderson Ravens as they fell 12-8 in the first of the three-game series on Friday, April 13. The defeat knocked the Beavers back under .500 to 13-14 overall and 6-6 in the Heartland Conference. Anderson improved to 19-8 on the season (11-1 HCAC).
Bluffton fell behind early as the offense could only muster one hit over the first five innings while the Ravens were able to put up single runs in the first, second and fourth for a 3-0 lead heading into the sixth. However, like clockwork, the Beaver offense came alive in the middle innings of the game, putting up a five-spot in the top of the sixth.
The inning started off with a single from Anthony Cianci (Ravenna/Southeast) before he moved over to third on a double by Miles Richardson (Granville/Newark Catholic) to put Beavers on second and third. Then, all-time hits leader Tyler Stephenson (Springfield/Northwestern) came through with a double to plate both runners and cut the deficit to 3-2. Next up, Tyler Wright (Troy) drilled a single, moving Stephenson to third. After Wright stole second base, Tim Webb (Delaware/Worthington Christian) delivered with the third double of the inning to give Bluffton the 4-3 advantage. Airic Steagall (Hillsboro) followed with a single that scored Webb, making the lead 5-3 as the dust settled.
After a scoreless bottom of the sixth and top of the seventh, freshman Brad Schlabach (Fredericksburg/Hiland) came out for the bottom of the seventh. He was outstanding through the first six, surrendering only three runs. However, the seventh was a different story as the Ravens answered with five runs on four hits before David Ianiro (Highland Heights/Mayfield) came on in relief.
An RBI single by Webb in the top of the eighth closed the gap to three runs but the Raven offense was too much as they followed their six-run outburst with a three more in the bottom of the inning to take a commanding 12-6 advantage into the ninth.
The Beavers never gave up, putting together back-to-back RBI singles by Stephenson and Wright, but that was all for the Bluffton bats as a double-play ended the rally with Anderson holding on for the 12-8 victory.
For the offense, the late surge produced six different players with two hits, led by Stephenson who drove in three and Webb who knocked in a pair of runs while scoring two. Cianci and Richardson each scored a pair of runs as well. Schlabach pitched well but took the loss, dropping to 1-2 on the season.
Bluffton wraps up the three-game series at Anderson on Saturday, April 14. The first contest is slated for 12 p.m.