Beavers split one-run games at Anderson
April 18, 2014
By: Ryan Schadewald, sports information assistant
ANDERSON, Ind. - The Bluffton University baseball team split a pair of key one-run baseball games in the HCAC with the Anderson University Ravens on Good Friday, April 18. The Beavers lost game one by a score of 5-4, before winning game two by a count of 10-9. The split puts the Beavers at 8-9 in HCAC play and sitting in seventh place, just two games behind Franklin in the loss column for that key fourth spot in the conference race. Anderson moved to 11-6 and stands third in the HCAC.
The first game showed promise for the Beavers, as an RBI single from Jake Townley (Mansfield/Madison) scored freshman standout Luke Hickey (Toledo/Whitmer) for a quick 1-0 advantage. Anderson put up two in the third and two more in the seventh to build a 4-1 lead off senior Nate Simonds (Ypsilanti, Mich./Lincoln).
The eighth frame was when Bluffton made its run. The inning began with a double from junior Michael Alexander (Monroe). Following a walk to senior Dave Ianiro (Highland Heights/Mayfield), Hickey plated Alexander with a base knock. Townley's second RBI double of the game picked up Ianiro to make it a one-run game. The next batter, Mike Castro (Reynoldsburg), drove in Hickey on a groundout which tied the game at four runs apiece. However, a solo shot by Zack Hufferd in the bottom of the eighth inning ended any chance of a rally from the Beavers, as they were set down in order in the final inning.
Simonds fell to 3-5 on the season, pitching the complete game for the Beavers. He gave up five runs on seven hits, walked four and struck out six in the loss. Sophomore pitcher Nolan Schaefer improved to 6-0 after a complete game in which he struck out 11 Bluffton hitters.
In the nightcap, the Beavers would pounce early, scoring nine runs in the first four innings to earn a 10-9 victory. Bluffton's lone run in the first inning came from Hickey on a sacrifice fly as he drove in Alexander who drew a base on balls. Following two Anderson runs in the home half of the first, the Beavers added three more of their own. They would earn one run on an RBI base hit from Christian Vail (Lucas), which scored Townley, followed by another run-scoring hit from the hero of Wednesday night, Jeff Roth (Bellevue). The final run came on an RBI groundout from Alexander that plated Vail and gave the Beavers a 4-2 advantage.
Bluffton scored three more in the third. Cade Randolph (Marengo/Highland) picked up Townley, who doubled earlier in the inning, on a sacrifice fly. Roth would then add another base knock, this time scoring two runs to give the Beavers a 7-2 lead after three innings. The Beavers' two runs in the fourth were courtesy of an RBI single by Hickey and an RBI double from senior catcher Tim Webb (Delaware/Worthington Christian).
Anderson would claw back, however, scoring one in the bottom of four, four in the sixth, and one more in the seventh to tie the game at nine runs apiece.
Ianiro opened the eighth inning with a base hit, followed by a single from Webb. Townley singled home Ianiro for a 10-9 lead. Bluffton closer Dave Ianiro nailed down his Bluffton single-season record-tying fifth save to give the Beavers a split of the twin-bill.
The win for the Beavers went to freshman Dyson Bowman (Coshocton) who pitched two innings of one-run, two-hit relief. He improved to 3-3 on the season. Starter Ben Roeschley (Graymont, Ill./Flanagan) pitched 5.2 innings and gave up eight runs (six earned) on 10 hits.
Townley finished the day 5-of-9 with three RBI, while Hickey went 3-of-6 with three runs scored and three RBI.
The rubber game of this three-game set will occur on Saturday, April 19 at 12 p.m. in Anderson, Ind. The Beavers then return home for a twin-bill against neighbor Ohio Northern University at Memorial Field on Monday, April 21. First pitch will be at 2 p.m. Come out and support your Beavers!