Bluffton 12, Hanover 8
Beavers set school record with 7th straight win
April 29, 2011
HANOVER, Indiana - The Bluffton University baseball team etched itself into the record books with its school-record seventh straight victory. The Beavers opened their three-game series at Hanover with a 12-8 victory over the Panthers on Friday, April 29, 2011. Bluffton evened its record at 17-17 overall and 9-10 in the Heartland Conference, while Hanover slipped to 13-19 and 8-10 in the HCAC.
A five-run first gave the Beavers a lead they would never relinquish as Bluffton jumped on the home team and never looked back. Kyle Niermann (Napoleon) and Miles Richardson (Granville/Newark Catholic) singled to open the game. Two outs later, Tyler Stephenson (Springfield/Northwestern) ripped a two-run double to right center. Following a free pass to Tyler Wright (Troy), Tim Webb (Delaware/Worthington Christian) plated Stephenson with his base hit to right field. Kyle Trainer (Mechanicsburg) capped the first-inning fireworks with a two-run single to center for a 5-0 lead before the home team picked up a bat.
The Beavers scored a run in the third and two in the fourth, building an 8-0 advantage before Hanover got on the scoreboard with three tallies on just two hits in the bottom of inning four.
A Stephenson RBI and a Hanover miscue made the score 10-3 in the sixth and the Beavers tacked on two more runs in the eighth when Trainer picked up Stephenson before a passed ball allowed Tim Webb to cross the dish for a 12-3 lead.
Hanover tried to get back in the game with three runs in the eighth and two more in the ninth, but the Beavers closed it out to take over sole possession of the longest winning streak in school history (7 games). Bluffton has won eight of its last nine HCAC contests as the Beavers are closing in on school records for wins in a season and HCAC victories in a season.
Kyle Trainer paced the visitors with a 4-of-5 afternoon and three RBI. Six Beavers racked up two hits apiece, including Tyler Stephenson who drove in three runs. Airic Steagall (Hillsboro) scored three times, while Niermann, Stephenson and Webb all crossed the dish twice. Broyles pushed his hitting streak to 17-straight games with a pair of singles. The Beavers also established new school records for runs and RBI in a season during their victory.
Junior Ryan Leugers (Botkins) improved to 4-5 with a solid eight-inning performance on the hill. He allowed six runs on seven hits with six strikeouts and a pair of walks. Mark Hadaya (Beavercreek) fanned two in the ninth to wrap up Bluffton's seventh consecutive win.
Bluffton and Hanover are slated to wrap of their series with a doubleheader on Saturday, April 30. The first game is slated for 12 p.m.