Bluffton takes two at Thomas More
Bluffton improves to 6-7 with sweep at Thomas More
March 20, 2010
CRESTVIEW HILLS, Kentucky - Bluffton University took advantage of outstanding pitching all day as the Beavers swept Thomas More by identical scores of 3-2 on Saturday, March 20, 2010. It took the Beavers nine innings to get the job done in game one before Bluffton completed the sweep with a seven-inning victory in the finale. Bluffton improved to 6-7 on the season while the Saints dipped to 3-6.
Bluffton 3, Thomas More 2
Bluffton took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first when sophomore Tyler Stephenson (Springfield/Northeastern) laced an RBI single up the middle which plated Nick Broyles (Toledo/Whitmer) who was hit by a pitch to start the game.
Thomas More capitalized on two Bluffton errors in the home half of the fifth to knot the game at one. Stephenson doubled to start the sixth and he came around to score when the Saints mishandled a Brennan Bauman (Milford) grounder. The Beavers' lead was short lived as two more Bluffton miscues allowed the home team to tie the game at two with an unearned run.
A quick seventh sent the game into extra innings, something Bluffton has seen with regularity this season. Neither team was able to mount any offense in the eighth, but the Beavers took advantage of a hit batter with two outs in the top of the ninth as Nick Broyles drove in Ian Land (Troy, Mich./Athens) with the game-winning run on his two-bagger to left center.
Senior Cody McPherson (Northwood/Millbury Lake) worked around a one-out walk in the bottom of the ninth to secure Bluffton's fifth win of the season. He worked the final four innings, allowing just one hit and no runs with three strikeouts, and improved to 2-2 on the season. Kelly Barnes (Toledo/Christian) gave the Beavers a solid five-inning start. He gave up just two runs, both unearned, on six hits with four strikeouts.
Broyles and Stephenson both paced Bluffton with two safeties. Stephen Torres (Lima/Juan Diego) stole two bases while Land and Broyles both recorded one theft each.
Bluffton 3, Thomas More 2
Bluffton again jumped out to a first inning lead on the strength of three singles and a Thomas More error. Nick Broyles bunted for a hit and moved to second following an errant throw by the pitcher. He went to third on a Stephen Torres safety and then crossed the plate when Michael Knorr (Pickerington/North) singled to left field.
The Beavers made it 2-0 in the second when Josh Runda (Lima/Bath) picked up Cody McPherson with an RBI single to left field.
The home Saints rallied to tie it in the bottom of the third thanks to a base hit, a bunt single, a Bluffton error and two passed balls. The Beavers wasted no time reclaiming the lead in the top of the fourth when McPherson drew a leadoff walk. He moved up a base on a Miles Richardson (Granville/Newark Catholic) single. McPherson went to third following a fielder's choice and he crossed the plate on Broyles' grounder to second base.
Freshman Nick Rodesky (Bowling Green) tossed a complete game three-hitter, allowing two runs, just one earned in seven superb innings on the hill. He induced 13 groundouts and walked only one batter while improving to 1-1.
Michael Knorr and Cody McPherson both laced two hits for the victors with McPherson scoring two runs. Three Bluffton hurlers combined to hold Thomas More to four runs (just one earned) in two wins and 16 innings.
The Beavers will look to keep their winning streak intact when they welcome Albion College to Memorial Field on Tuesday, March 23, 2010. The contest is slated to start at 4 p.m.