Mount St. Joseph 6, Bluffton 3
Bluffton leaves 15 on base in 6-3 loss to Mount St. Joseph
April 22, 2012
By: Martin Kluk, sports information intern
BLUFFTON, Ohio - On a cold and blustery day, the Bluffton baseball team came up short, 6-3, against Mount St. Joseph on Sunday, April 22. With the defeat, the Beavers dipped to 15-18 overall (8-10 HCAC) after taking only one in the three-game series. MSJ improved to 11-20 (4-14 HCAC).
The Lions jumped out to an early 6-0 lead after plating two in the first and four in the third before starting pitcher Miles Richardson (Granville/Newark Catholic), who struggled to find his command, was relieved by senior Ryan Leugers (Botkins).
Bluffton got on the board with its first run in the bottom half of the fourth when Richardson beat out the throw for an infield single, scoring Josh Gullett (Mansfield/Madison). However, that was all the home team could come up with as the Beavers left the bases loaded.
Relief pitcher Ryan Leugers kept the Beavers in the game as he was fantastic, holding the Lions scoreless over 5.1 innings to keep the score at 6-1 heading into the bottom of the eighth. He fanned six and allowed just four hits and two walks.
Then some momentum started to brew when freshman Mike Castro (Reynoldsburg) led off the inning with a pinch hit double. After a balk moved Castro to third, Nick Broyles (Toledo/Whitmer) was plunked by a pitch to put Beavers on first and third. Gullet came through in the clutch when he drilled a two-run double which trimmed the deficit to 6-3. Bluffton had men on second and third with one out, but again could not get them across the plate.
After a smooth top of the ninth by reliever Mark Hadaya (Beavercreek), Bluffton loaded the bases with no outs. Unfortunately, the next three batters went down in order and the bags were left full of Beavers to end the game. Stranded runners were the Achilles heel for Bluffton as the home team left 15 on base in the tough loss.
Tyler Wright (Troy), Castro and Gullett led the offense as they each tallied a pair of hits. Gullett scored and knocked in a run to continue his strong showing over the past week.
Bluffton returns to action on Tuesday, April 24, when the Beavers travel to Earlham. The night game with the Quakers is scheduled for 6 p.m.