Bluffton drops two close contests at Earlham
Beavers drop two at Earlham
By Bill Hanefeld Jr., sports information director
April 18, 2006
RICHMOND, Ind. - The Bluffton University baseball team (13-16, 6-6 HCAC) traveled to Richmond (9-20) for a non-conference doubleheader against Earlham College on Tuesday, April 18, 2006. The Beavers fell just short in both contests, dropping the first game 6-4 and falling 10-9 in nine innings in the nightcap.
Game 1 - Earlham 6, Bluffton 4
Earlham put a run on the board in the first inning despite having only one hit. A hit batter to open the game and a wild pitch put Gallagher on third with no outs. Sturgeon immediately picked him up with a sacrifice fly to left field.
The Quakers padded their lead with three runs in the bottom of the third. Three singles, three stolen bases and a walk allowed Earlham to take a four run lead over the Beavers after three innings.
With Tim Kay (Alpharetta Ga./Blessed Trinity) on second and Greg Sigg (Maumee/Maumee) at first, Chris Bauman (Milford/Milford) ripped a double which plated both runners and cut the Earlham lead to two runs in the top of the fourth inning.
Following an Earlham run in the bottom of the fifth, Bluffton opened the sixth inning with consecutive singles from Kay and Curtis Schroeder (Shelby/Shelby) which put runners on the corners. Kay crossed the plate when the second baseman misplayed a ball hit by Bauman. The Beavers loaded the bases when Ryan Baightel (Wapakoneta/Wapakoneta) was hit by a pitch with one out. Earlham reliever Anderson got out of the jam with a strikeout and a groundout to shortstop to limit the Beavers to a single run in the inning.
Earlham picked up an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth when Bridge led off the frame with a solo shot.
Tony Moore (Elida/Elida) opened the seventh with a double and scored on an error by the center fielder. That was all the Beavers could muster as Earlham got the final two outs to take the first game by a final score of 6-4.
Riordan McClain (Upper Sandusky/Upper Sandusky) took the loss as he gave up five runs on six hits in four innings of work.
Moore led the Bluffton offense with two hits in four at bats. Kay scored twice and Bauman picked up three RBI's for the Beavers.
Game 2 - Earlham 10, Bluffton 9 (9 inn.)
Moore reached first on an error to start game two. He swiped second before Tyler Williams (Lima/Lima Senior) drew a free pass. Bluffton executed a double steal putting both runners in scoring position for Tim Kay who singled plating two runs. Bauman, who had singled and stolen second base, scored from third when Jimmy McMonagle (Ida, Mich./Ida) reached on an error by the left fielder. The Beavers plated three runs before Earlham retired the side.
With one out in the second, Moore again got things started for Bluffton. He singled and stole second base before moving to third on an infield groundout. Kay picked him up with a run scoring single to give the Beavers a four run advantage.
Although the Quakers connected for only one hit in the bottom of the second, Earlham pushed across four runs to tie the game at four. Bluffton walked three Quaker batters in the inning, loading the bases for Sturgeon who drilled a two-out grand slam to knot the game after two innings.
With the game tied at five after four innings, Bluffton's McMonagle drew a leadoff walk in the top of the fifth. He moved to second on a Baightel sacrifice and scored when Corey Conn (London/London) doubled. Moore singled, driving in Conn and giving the Beavers a two-run lead.
Bluffton picked up two quick outs to start the bottom of the fifth inning before Earlham rallied to score two runs on three hits. A pair of walks again led to Quaker runs as Earlham kept pace with the Beavers 6-6 after five innings.
Amidst a sea of personnel changes for both teams in the seventh inning, the Beavers and Quakers plated one run each to send the contest to extra innings tied at eight.
Schroeder cranked a leadoff homer in the top of the ninth inning to put Bluffton up by a run before the Quakers retired the Beavers in order.
Clark singled to open the frame before Tyler Hill (London/London) retired the next two Quakers. A Sturgeon single and walk to Parkevich loaded the bases for Wilson who singled knocking in Clark and Sturgeon and giving Earlham a 10-9 victory over the visiting Beavers.
Moore, who has hit safely in 14 consecutive games, continued his torrid hitting, going 3-of-6 with two runs scored and one RBI. Kay went 2-of-5 with 3 RBI's. Deron Steinke (Wapakoneta/St. Mary's) and Baightel both collected two hits for the Beavers.
The Beavers return to action on Friday, April 21, when they travel to Transylvania University to face the Pioneers in the first game of the Heartland Conference series. The contest is scheduled to begin at 3:15 p.m. Bluffton will then remain in Lexington and play a doubleheader against Transylvania on Saturday afternoon.