Beavers move to 5-1 with sweep of Muskingum
Bluffton off to best start in school history at 5-1
March 5, 2013
By: Kyle Stover, sports information assistant
PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. - The Bluffton University baseball team is off to their best start in school history through six games after a doubleheader sweep of Muskingum University on Tuesday, March 5, 2013. Bluffton kept the Muskingum bats in check in game one, rolling to a 4-0 victory. The Beavers broke a tie late in game two to pull away for a 9-5 win.
Ben Roeschley (Graymont, Ill./Flanagan) was dominant in his first start of the season, throwing a seven-inning complete game shutout. He allowed just seven hits and one walk while striking out three.
Kyle Niermann (Napoleon) led off with a single for the third straight game, but the Beavers did not break into the scoring column until the top of the fourth. Sophomore Tyler Spalding (Willis, Mich./Lincoln) started the frame off when he was hit by a pitch. Cade Randolph (Marengo/Highland) reached on an error by Muskingum starting pitcher Justin Warrington. After Spalding and Randolph both moved up on a wild pitch they were plated on back-to-back singles by Mike Castro (Reynoldsburg) and Jeff Roth (Bellevue). A Niermann single knocked in Castro before an Anthony Cianci (Ravenna/Southeast) sacrifice fly picked up Roth to round out the scoring in the inning.
Roeschley (1-0) kept Muskingum's offense in check the entire game, stranding runners on third base twice. He ended the game in style, striking out Muskingum's Darren Garrett to cap off the win.
Niermann and Roth led the Beaver offense in game one, both going two for three with an RBI. Cianci and Castro each had an RBI in the victory.
Game two starter Todd Stover (Tipp City/Tippecanoe) started where Roeschley left off, setting the Muskies down one, two, three in the top of the first inning. He kept Muskingum off the board until the fourth inning when the Muskies tallied four runs. He gave up just one more run in the sixth inning, an unearned score. Stover finished his first collegiate start on the mound with six innings pitched, six hits, five runs, four earned, and three strikeouts.
Brad Schlabach (Fredericksburg/Hiland) threw three perfect innings of relief and picked up his first win of the year. The sophomore (1-1) struck out two in a rebound performance after his opening-day loss.
Bluffton scored quickly to start off the game, as the second batter for the Beavers, Cianci, launched a solo home run. Miles Richardson (Granville/Newark Catholic) followed Cianci's blast with a double and scored later in the inning courtesy of a Muskie error.
The Beavers added a run in the second inning on an RBI single by Cianci, before tacking on two more in the third, highlighted by an RBI double from Castro.
Muskingum rallied to tie the game at five in the sixth inning, but Bluffton would not allow that to last for long, tallying three runs in the seventh inning to take a lead they would not relinquish. That inning opened with a single by Jake Townley (Mansfield/Madison). After a groundout by David Ianiro (Highland Heights/Mayfield), Greg Franks (Smithville) smacked a double to left field, scoring Townley. A Castro double scored pinch-runner Michael Alexander (Monroe) and an RBI single by Niermann capped off the inning.
Tim Webb (Delaware/Worthington Christian) singled to lead off the eighth inning and came around to score on a wild pitch, ending the scoring for the game. The lead would be preserved the rest of the way by Schlabach's stellar relief pitching.
Niermann, Cianci, Richardson, and Castro all had two hits in the game two victory, while Franks had two RBI.
Bluffton moved to 5-1 with the pair of wins, marking the best start through six games in school history. Muskingum fell to 0-4. The Beavers now get a well-deserved day off in Florida before playing again on Thursday against Moravian College. That nine-inning game will begin at 11 a.m. in Port Charlotte, Florida.