Bluffton vs. St. Francis
Cougars pound out 27 hits in doubleheader sweep of Bluffton
April 24, 2007
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University baseball team took advantage of a rare mid-week non-conference doubleheader to play everyone who is healthy against the University of St. Francis on Tuesday, April 24, 2007. The Cougars used a nine-run sixth to knock off the Beavers, 15-9, in the opener and then they exploded for all 11 of their runs in the first three innings of the nightcap for an 11-2 victory. The Beavers fell to 3-14 for the season while the NAIA Cougars improved to 13-29.
Game 1 - St. Francis 15, Bluffton 9
After two quick innings, St. Francis used three singles and a Bluffton error to jump out to a two-run advantage in the top of the third.
Following a one-out Tony Moore (Elida/Elida) single to center, Jimmy McMonagle (Ida, Mich./Ida) laced a run-scoring triple down the right field line. Tim Kay (Alpharetta, Ga./Blessed Trinity) picked up McMonagle with his bloop single over the first baseman's head to tie the score at two after three innings.
St. Francis put together a two-out rally in the fourth to take a 4-2 lead before the Beavers answered with four of their own in the bottom half. With two outs and Ryan Baightel (Wapakoneta/Wapakoneta) at first, the Bluffton batters lined up for a hit parade. Moore singled to center and McMonagle knocked in Baightel with his single through the right side. Kay continued to torture opposing pitching as his double to left center plated two runs. Curtis Schroeder (Shelby/Shelby) made the score 6-4 with his RBI single to right center.
In a scene that was much like the Beavers' contest at Anderson on Sunday, St. Francis sent 13 hitters to the plate in a nine-run sixth. The Cougars pounded out seven hits and were aided by three Bluffton errors as they took a 13-6 lead midway through the inning.
After St. Francis tacked on two more insurance runs in the top of the seventh, Bluffton forced the Cougars into the bullpen three times in the home half. Pat O' Neil walked Corey Conn (London/London), Chris Wurm (Bucyrus/Bucyrus), and Baightel to load the bases with no outs. Moore singled home Conn and with one out, a walk to Kay forced in Wurm. Cody McPherson (Northwood/Lake) drew another bases loaded walk with two outs to make the score 15-9, but Jarrod Wehri ended the threat when he induced Steve Roberts (West Salem/Mapleton) into a fly ball to center for the final out.
Kay paced the Beavers' offense with a 3-of-4 day at the plate with four RBI and one run scored. Moore smoked three hits and scored twice. McMonagle, Schroeder and McPherson all collected two hits for Bluffton. McMonagle and Baightel scored two runs each in the 15-9 setback.
On the mound, Will Gerber (Kidron/Central Christian) worked five strong innings, giving up six runs, four earned, on seven hits with two strikeouts.
Game 2 - St. Francis 11, Bluffton 2
The Cougars piled on 11 runs during the first three innings of game two as St. Francis sent 23 batters to the plate in the first three frames. In addition to eight hits, Bluffton aided the St. Francis cause with three errors, two walks and a pair of wild pitches before Steve Roberts came on to get the last out in the third inning. He allowed only two baserunners in 3.1 innings on the hill before he gave way to Sam Fruchey (Findlay/Findlay) who retired the side in order in the seventh.
Allen Slabaugh (Dalton/Dalton) opened the bottom of the third with a single to center and moved into scoring position when he stole second. He moved up a base on Darek Zook's (Bellefontaine/Riverside) single and crossed the plate on Eric Beck's (Archbold/Archbold) fielder's choice to second base.
In the home half of the fourth, Bluffton picked up its second and final run of the game when Austin Gray (Lewisburg/Tri-County North) singled home Brett Hunt (Bucyrus/Bucyrus) who had laced a one-out triple down the right field line.
Zook and Hunt both finished with two hits in the second contest.
Brandon Freytag (Wapakoneta/Wapakoneta) took the loss, giving up 11 runs on eight hits in 2.2 innings on the mound.
The Beavers return to action when they travel to Lake Erie College on Saturday, April 28, 2007. The first game of the non-league doubleheader is scheduled for 1 p.m.