Anderson 9, Bluffton 3
Beavers drop regular-season finale to Anderson 9-3
May 4, 2008
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton baseball team wrapped up its 2008 season with a 9-3 loss to visiting Anderson University on Sunday, May 4, following commencement exercises on the campus of Bluffton University. The Beavers fell to 15-23 overall and 7-15 in the Heartland Conference, while Anderson improved to 24-14 with a 14-8 mark in the HCAC. Transylvania's 5-3 victory over Rose-Hulman earlier in the afternoon kept Anderson from qualifying for the four-team conference tournament next week despite completing a sweep of Bluffton this weekend.
The two teams combined for five runs in the opening inning as fans prepared for another show of fireworks at Memorial Field. Although seniors Tim Kay (Alpharetta, Ga./Blessed Trinity) and Ryan Baightel (Wapakoneta/Wapakoneta) were sidelined due to injuries, they both assumed their customary starting positions in the middle infield for the first pitch of the game before coming off the field to a rousing show of support from fans of both teams. The Ravens took advantage of two Bluffton miscues and one hit for a 2-0 lead midway through inning one.
The Beavers responded with four consecutive two-out hits to take a 3-2 lead over Anderson in the bottom of the first. One out after a walk to A.J. Ramthun (Springfield/Southeastern) Cody McPherson (Millbury/Lake) doubled him home to make the score 2-1. Ramthun scored his 39th run of the season, breaking Tony Moore's (Elida/Elida) single-season mark of 38 set in 2006. McPherson came around to score on Corey Conn's (London/London) single to left center. Following a Greg Sigg (Maumee/Maumee) base knock, Conn crossed the plate on Jimmy McMonagle's single down the left field line before Sigg was thrown out trying to go to third.
Anderson ace Eric Smith settled in following the rocky first inning and did not allow another Bluffton hit until McPherson singled to left field in the bottom of the seventh. Smith improved to 6-3 while limiting the Beavers to six hits over 8.1 innings with nine strikeouts and two walks. Fellow senior Brandon Meadows retired the last two Bluffton batters as Anderson plated seven runs late in the contest for a 9-3 victory over the Beavers on Senior Day.
McPherson was the only Beaver with two hits in the game. Matt Perkins (Convoy/Crestview) fell to 1-5 with the loss. He gave up four runs on seven hits with five strikeouts in six innings of work. Seniors Brandon Freytag (Wapakoneta/Wapakoneta), Will Gerber (Kidron/Central Christian) and Tyler Sprunger (Berne, Ind./South Adams) each worked one inning of relief in their final contest at Bluffton.
The Beavers finished their 2008 campaign with a 15-23 record overall, including a 7-15 mark in the HCAC. Bluffton ended the season in seventh place in the HCAC.