#15 Manchester wraps up sweep at Bluffton
#15 Manchester dominates Bluffton in sweep of Beavers
April 27, 2013
By: Kyle Stover, sports information assistant
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University baseball team failed to get its offense going on Saturday, April 27, dropping a conference doubleheader to Manchester University by scores of 12-0 and 15-4. The Beavers couldn't get on the scoreboard in game one while they had an early lead in game two before errors set up one big inning for the Spartans that Bluffton was unable to rally back from.
Senior Tyler Gibson (Sylvania/Southview) was the starter in game one for the Beavers, making a valiant effort to return from an injury that has kept him out of the better part of two seasons. He got a first pitch strike on the leadoff hitter before being unable to continue after throwing his second pitch. Ben Roeschley (Graymont, Ill./Flanagan) came on in relief for Gibson and promptly retired the batter on a lineout to third base. Roeschley (4-3) took the loss after running into some trouble in the middle innings, finishing with 4.2 innings pitched. The junior gave up nine runs, six earned, while striking out two.
Mark Hadaya (Beavercreek) made a strong Senior Day appearance in relief on the mound, mowing down the powerful Manchester hitters and piling up one strikeout after another. He finished his 4.1 innings out of the bullpen with a career-high eight punchouts.
Bluffton's offense mustered only six hits against the Spartan hurlers in Saturday's opening contest.
Todd Stover (Tipp City/Tippecanoe), who was honored on Senior Day despite being a junior who will graduate in December, was the starter in game two and did all he could to give the Beavers a chance, but was saddled with the loss although he did not give up an earned run. Stover (0-3) was pulled from the game after just two innings, giving up seven hits and seven runs, none earned, while striking out three.
After Stover was pulled, the middle relief for Bluffton allowed the Manchester lead to balloon, not giving the Beavers a realistic chance at a comeback. Senior Kyle Niermann (Napoleon) made a rare appearance on the mound to close out the game, throwing two scoreless innings and not allowing a hit while striking out one.
Bluffton took the lead after the first inning, but Manchester responded with the seven-run outburst in the second and never looked back. The inning started with back-to-back hits by seniors Miles Richardson (Granville/Newark Catholic) and Anthony Cianci (Ravenna/Southeast), who doubled and singled, respectively. Richardson crossed the dish when Niermann hit a sacrifice fly to right field.
Manchester had a 12-1 advantage when Bluffton scored two more runs in the bottom of the fourth thanks to a throwing error on the Spartan third baseman.
The Beavers added one final run in the bottom of the seventh following an RBI double for Niermann, but it was not enough to avoid the defeat.
Cianci led the Bluffton offense on the day with three hits while Greg Franks (Smithville) added two safeties.
Matt Calhoun (Bonita Springs, Fla./South Fort Myers), Cianci, Franks, Gibson, Hadaya, Niermann, Richardson, and Stover were honored on Senior Day, and all of them received significant playing time in their Memorial Field finale with the exception of an injured Gibson who started game one on the hill. Also recognized for her four years of dedicated service to the Bluffton baseball program was senior operations intern Estee Arend.
Bluffton fell to 19-17 on the year and 10-11 in the HCAC with the loss. Manchester improved to 28-5-1 and 18-3 in conference play while clinching home-field advantage for the 2013 Heartland Conference tournament in two weeks. The Beavers will have exam week off before finishing the season on the road at Hanover. Game one of that series is slated to begin on Friday at 4 p.m. in Hanover, Ind.