Baseball squad gets season started in Sarasota

By Tim Stried, SID
March 13, 2000

Three players on the All-Tournament Team, a no-hitter, a new career record, and five days of 80-degree weather and sunshine highlighted the Bluffton College baseball team's spring break trip to the EMU-Sarasota Spring Classic last week in Sarasota Florida.

BC fashioned a 3-5 record during the week, which included two wins on Friday over Kenyon College and tournament runner-up Eastern Mennonite University.

Senior Bob Sierer (Paulding HS) highlighted the 13-0 win over Kenyon on Friday morning with a no-hitter, the first at BC in over two decades, at least. Research is being done now to uncover the last BC no-hitter. Sierer struck out four Kenyon batters in the game.

Sierer, along with sophomores Todd Pickthorn (Miamisburg HS) and Dustin Kreis (Richwood/North Union HS) were named to the All-Tournament Team. Pickthorn hit .448 with 1 double, two triples and 8 RBI. He reached base 20 times in the eight games and went 3-6 with 4 RBI in the tournament finale against EMU.

Kreis hit a team-high .450 during the week with one double and eight RBI. He reached base 19 times and went 3-4 in the tourney's final game.

Bluffton began the week with a 4-1 loss to eventual tournament champion Juniata College (Penn.). Sophomore Brad Buckingham (Berne, Ind./South Adams HS) was 2-3 with two singles, while Luke Habegger (Berne, Ind./South Adams HS) was 1-3 with a double and an RBI. Sierer recorded eight strikeouts but suffered the loss on the mount.

In the second game Monday, senior Joel Parrett (Oakwood/Paulding HS) pitched BC to a 5-4 win over Moravian, picking up his 18th career win, a new BC record. The Beavers had eight hits, all of which were singles, led by Kreis with three of them and Pickthorn with two.

Bluffton dropped two games on Tuesday, 7-6 to Moravian and 8-5 to Eastern Mennonite. Buckingham homered against Moravian and junior Bill Bechtel (Wapakoneta HS) collected six strikouts in the loss. Pickthorn went 3-4 against EMU as freshman Brad Moore (Norwalk HS) took the loss on the mound.

After a day off on Wednesday, BC fell twice on Thursday, first 14-3 to Moravian and then 7-4 to Juniata. Freshmen Eric Humpal (Medina HS) and David Snow (Columbus/Tree of Life HS) suffered the pitching losses while senior Eric Metz (Norwalk/St. Paul HS) doubled in each game.

Following BC's 13-0 bombing of Moravian Friday morning, the Beavers returned Friday night to take an 11-7 extra-inning win from Eastern Mennonite. Parrett went the entire nine innings for BC, picking up three strikeouts. Pickthorn, Kreis and Habegger all had three hits in the game. Habegger smacked an inside-the-park home run, his first of the season.

BC was to have hosted Manchester on Wednesday and will return to action on Saturday afternoon at home against Ohio Northern University at 1:00.