Bluffton takes two from Finlandia
Bluffton improves to 3-1 with sweep of Finlandia
March 4, 2013
By: Kyle Niermann, sports informaion assistant
FORT MYERS, Fla. - The Bluffton University Beavers powered through their second day in Florida with a doubleheader sweep of the Finlandia University Lions on Monday, March 4, 2013. The Bluffton baseball team convincingly won both games, taking the first, 8-0, and the second, 14-6.
Game one was highlighted by the dominant pitching of senior hurler Mark Hadaya (Beavercreek) who needed only 92 pitches to get through six innings, allowing just two hits and striking out four. He did not allow a Lion runner past second base en route to earning his first collegiate win.
On the offensive side of the ball the Beavers got off to a good start, scoring two runs in the first inning. Kyle Niermann (Napoleon) opened with a sharp single through the right side. He came around to score on a triple to the left-center gap by Anthony Cianci (Ravenna/Southeast) who has been swinging a hot bat for the Beavers. Cianci scored on the next play, an error by the Finlandia shortstop.
In the second inning Bluffton again scored two runs, highlighted by a Tyler Spalding (Willis, Mich./Lincoln) single, Mike Castro (Reynoldsburg) double and Jeff Roth (Bellevue) base knock.
Following two walks to start the fifth inning, Spalding and Castro hit back-to-back doubles, driving in three runs while pushing the lead to 7-0. The Beavers scored another run in the bottom of the sixth and then brought in hard throwing sophomore Cole Page (Nappanee Ind./Northwood) to pitch the final inning. Page looked good in his first collegiate appearance, striking out two of the three batters he faced.
The Beavers were led offensively by Castro, Spalding and Tim Webb (Deleware/Worthington Christian) who each had two hits.
In game two the Beavers picked up right where they left off, scoring early and often. Niermann again led off with a single and he crossed the dish on a Greg Franks (Smithville) groundout. The Lions tied the game in the bottom half of the inning, but it was all Bluffton after that.
An inning later, the Beavers tagged Finlandia starter Jesus Velasquez for four runs on three hits, which included singles by Michael Alexander (Monroe) and Niermann, and a Richardson two-bagger. This pushed the spread to 5-1, a lead that continued to grow.
The Beavers did most of their damage in the top of the third when they scored eight runs. The inning began when senior Matt Calhoun (Bonita Springs Fla./South Ft. Meyers), who was playing just miles from his hometown, reached on an error. Alexander then walked and junior Doug Paullin (Jeromesville/Hillsdale) singled to push the first run across. Hits also came from Richardson, who doubled, Franks, Cade Randolph (Marengo/Highland), and Calhoun, who also smacked a two-bagger. When the dust settled, the Beavers held a comfortable 13-1 lead.
Bluffton pushed across one more run in the top of the seventh when Cole Holley (Ypsilanti, Mich./Lincoln) singled and came around to score.
The Beavers received another strong pitching performance from sophomore Nate Simonds (Ypsilanti, Mich./Lincoln) who gave up only three hits in four innings while striking out six on the way to earning his first collegiate win. Freshman Landen Brown (Lebanon) came on in the fifth inning for his first outing, giving up five earned in three innings with three strikeouts.
Bluffton's offense was led by Niermann and Richardson who both collected two hits. Richardson finished with four RBI, while Niermann and Calhoun each drove in two.
For the Beavers, it was a day of firsts. Simonds and Hadaya each earned their first wins, Brown saw his first action, and six Beavers collected their first hits. Those hitters were Calhoun, Holley, Spalding, Alexander, Randolph, and Christian Vail (Lucas).
The Beavers take the field again on Tuesday, March 5, when the play Coach Grandey's alma mater, Muskingum University, in a doubleheader beginning at noon.