Bluffton takes two from Transylvania
April 12, 2014
BLUFFTON, Ohio - A pair of come-from-behind victories on Saturday, April 12, helped the Bluffton University baseball team erase the bitter taste of a 17-11 setback at the hands of Transylvania last night. The Beavers rallied from a 5-2 deficit in game one and 5-0 in game two en route to the stunning series victory over the Pioneers at Memorial Field. Bluffton evened its record at 13-13 overall and more importantly improved to 6-8 in the Heartland Conference as the Beavers crossed the midpoint of the HCAC season. Transylvania fell to 14-14 and 8-6 in the conference.
Bluffton jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead in the first inning of game one on the strength of a Luke Hickey (Toledo/Whitmer) RBI double and a Mike Castro (Reynoldsburg) sacrifice fly.
The visitors scored in four of the next six innings to take a 5-2 lead at the seventh inning stretch, however, the Bluffton bats erupted for five tallies in the bottom of the frame. Following a Jeff Roth (Bellevue) RBI, Michael Alexander (Monroe) and Hickey delivered run-scoring singles. Tim Webb (Delaware/Worthington Christian) broke the tie with a two-run single for the 7-5 lead.
A leadoff homer by the Pioneers in the eighth ended the scoring as David Ianiro (Highland Heights/Mayfield) closed out the ninth for his third save of the season. Dyson Bowman (Coschocton) worked three solid innings of relief for the win, improving to 2-3 after allowing two runs on three hits with a pair of strikeouts. Nate Simonds (Ypsilanti, Mich./Lincoln) did not figure in the decision after starting and tossing five innings.
Hickey went 3-of-4 with two RBI and two runs scored. Jake Townley (Mansfield/Madison) was 3-of-4 with a run scored. Alexander crossed the dish twice and Webb drove in two runs, including the game-winner.
Transylvania scored five runs over the first three innings of game two for a 5-0 lead before Bluffton started to turn the momentum in the bottom of the third. Christian Vail (Lucas) led off the frame with a bomb and Roth came around to score on Hickey's groundout.
An inning later, the Beavers racked up six doubles on the way to eight earned runs that added up to a 10-5 lead. Alexander, Ianiro, Hickey and Webb launched four consecutive two-baggers as Transy saw the wheels come off.
Ianiro and Vail drove in runs in the fifth and sixth innings, respectively, before Vail singled home Webb in the eighth for a commanding 13-6 lead.
The Pioneers made it interesting with four runs in the ninth, but Ianiro came on and fanned Liggett for the final out, securing his second save in four hours as Bluffton held on for the 13-10 victory.
Vail finished game two a perfect 3-of-3 with four RBI and three runs scored. Ianiro went 4-of-5 with two RBI. Roth, Castro and Hickey all chipped in with two hits and Hickey drove in two runs, while Roth scored twice.
Taylor Gambrell (Bowling Green) came on in the second and tossed 3.2 innings of standout relief, allowing three runs, just one earned, on two hits with two strikeouts. LandeN Brown (Lebanon) worked 3.1 innings of four-run relief to help the home team maintain its lead.
Bluffton will wrap up its eight-game homestand on Tuesday, April 15, when the Beavers welcome rival Defiance College. The first pitch is slated for 4:15 p.m. Come out to Memorial Field and support your Beavers!