Bluffton 5, Oberlin 4
Stephenson sets career hits mark in 5-4 win at Oberlin
March 14, 2012
By: Martin Kluk, sports information intern
OBERLIN, Ohio - In an evenly matched battle, the Bluffton University baseball team came out on top with a 5-4 victory over Oberlin College on Wednesday, March 14. The Beavers scored in the top of the ninth when Tyler Wright (Troy) drew a bases loaded walk, sending Kevin Martin (Bryan) home for what would be the game-winning run. The Beavers improved to 4-7 overall while Oberlin drops to 2-3.
After the Yeomen grabbed the lead with an early run in the bottom of the second, Kevin Martin led off the top of the third with a single. One out later, a wild pitch moved Martin to second and Miles Richardson (Granville/Newark Catholic) drove him in with a single, knotting the game at one.
However, Oberlin came right back and plated two of their own in the bottom of the third to grab a 3-1 advantage. Once again, the Beavers answered with a run in the top of the fourth. Tyler Stephenson's (Springfield/Northwestern) second double in three frames moved him past Brad Buckingham and Tony Moore into first place all-time with 169 career hits. He advanced to third on a single by Wright before an Airic Steagall (Hillsboro) sacrifice fly cut the deficit to 3-2 after four innings.
After a scoreless fifth, Bluffton plated the tying run in the sixth when Nick Broyles (Toledo/Whitmer) crossed the dish following a Steagall ground ball. Ben Roeschley (Graymont IL/Flanagan) settled in nicely after giving up three early runs and he put together three scoreless frames from the fourth to the sixth, keeping the Beavers in the game. With two outs in the seventh, Kyle Niermann (Napolean) drilled a double to right center and Richardson drove him in with a base knock up the middle.
An error in the bottom of the seventh led to a tying run by the Yeomen but Roeschley pitched through it, going 6.1 innings for the Beavers. He allowed three earned runs, struck out four and did not walk a batter. Halen Core (Reynoldsburg) came on in the seventh and was lights out, surrendering only one hit and striking out two to send the game to ninth tied 4-4.
Martin led off the frame with a base hit and went to second on a sacrifice bunt by Niermann. Richardson was nailed by a pitch and both runners moved up 90 feet on a wild pitch. With two down, the Yeomen chose to intentionally walk Stephenson to load the bases. It was the wrong move as Tyler Wright drew another free pass for the Beavers and Martin crossed the plate with the go-ahead run, sending Bluffton into the bottom of the ninth with a 5-4 lead. Core slammed the door on Oberlin, striking out two more in the bottom half while earning his first collegiate win.
Tyler Stephenson needed one hit to equal the career mark of 168 and he did just that to lead off the second inning. He made the record his own in the fourth and followed with a single in the sixth, giving him 170 before drawing a well-deserved intentional pass in the ninth. In the well rounded effort, the team had 11 hits with Richardson, Broyles, and Martin smacking two apiece. Richardson and Steagall drove in two runs apiece in the victory while Martin scored twice.
Bluffton returns to action on Saturday, March 17, when the Beavers welcome Albion for their home-opening doubleheader at 1 p.m.