Defiance 14, Bluffton 8
Bluffton comeback falls short in 14-8 loss to rival Defiance
April 2, 2013
By: Kyle Stover, sports information assistant
DEFIANCE, Ohio - The Bluffton University baseball team was on the road against rival Defiance on Tuesday, falling 14-8 in a conference matchup. The Beavers jumped out with a quick start and took an early lead, but couldn't hold on in a game that featured a total of 10 errors between the two squads.
Sophomore Brad Schlabach (Fredericksburg/Hiland) got the start on the mound for Bluffton, holding the Yellow Jackets scoreless in the first two innings as the Beavers built a 3-0 lead. That would be where he ran into trouble, allowing seven runs in the next three innings. Schlabach (1-3) took the loss in the game, going 4.1 innings and surrendering nine hits and seven runs with just one strikeout.
A one-out double in the top of the first by Miles Richardson (Granville/Newark Catholic) put him on second base and he scored on the next play courtesy of an error on the Defiance third baseman. Tim Webb (Delaware/Worthington Christian) rounded out the scoring in the inning for the Beavers with an RBI groundout to shortstop, plating Greg Franks (Smithville).
Bluffton added one more run in the top of the second thanks to a single by Kyle Niermann (Napoleon), scoring Jeff Roth (Bellevue) on an error by the Yellow Jacket left fielder which made the score 3-0.
After allowing Defiance to come back and take a one-run lead going into the top of the fifth inning, Bluffton responded with a couple runs of their own. The scoring began with back-to-back doubles to lead off the inning by Niermann and Richardson. Richardson came around to score on a passed ball, giving the Beavers a 5-4 edge heading to the bottom of the fifth.
It seemed as though the wheels would fall off after that for the Beavers, as the visitors gave up three runs in the fifth and four in the seventh to fall behind 11-5. Bluffton narrowed the gap with a score in the top of the eighth thanks to an RBI single by Mike Castro (Reynoldsburg), but they turned around and gave back three more runs in the bottom of the frame while digging a 14-6 hole.
The Beavers would show some life in the top of the ninth with a two-run double by Webb to right center, but it was too little, too late as Bluffton lost on the road.
Webb led the Beaver offense with two doubles and three RBI while Niermann, Richardson and Roth each chipped in a couple of hits apiece.
Bluffton slipped to 12-9 on the season with a 3-4 mark in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference. Defiance improved to 9-7 on the year and 3-4 in the HCAC as well. Following a six-day marathon that saw the Beavers play seven games with just one day off for Easter, Bluffton takes to the diamond again on Friday, April 5, when the Beavers play host to Franklin College in the lidlifter of an important three-game conference series. That game is scheduled for 4:15 p.m. at Memorial Field in Bluffton.