Bluffton 19, Defiance 5
Bluffton equals school record with 6th straight win
April 26, 2011
By: Mallory Kemper, sports information intern
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University baseball team swept its third Heartland Conference
rival of the season with a convincing 19-5 drubbing of Defiance College on a surprisingly
warm, Tuesday, April 26, 2011. With the forecast calling for rain and wind, the Beavers
hammered out 24 hits while posting their school-record tying sixth straight win. The
1973 Beavers had sole possession of that mark for the past 38 years. Bluffton improved
to 16-17 overall and 8-10 in the conference, while Defiance fell to 5-27 on the season
and 1-16 in HCAC play. The Beavers need just three wins to establish Bluffton records
for most wins in a season and most Heartland Conference victories.
In the first inning Defiance put up three unearned runs, including a two-run homer by Brad Kremer. Bluffton responded in the home half with two runs of its own. A Tyler Stephenson (Springfield/Northwestern) single plated Nick Broyles (Toledo/Whitmer) before a passed ball allowed Airic Steagall (Hillsboro) to cross the dish.
Following a solo homer by Tim Webb (Delaware/Worthington Christian), who hit the first of his three home runs on the day, the Beavers knotted the game at three in the second inning. Back-to-back long balls by Tyler Wright (Troy) and Tim Webb gave Bluffton a 5-3 advantage in the third. Kyle Niermann (Napoleon) kept the offense firing on all cylinders with his two-run triple which scored Kyle Trainer (Mechanicsburg) and Kevin Martin (Bryan).
In the fourth inning Bluffton lit the fireworks again, scoring six runs on seven hits. Webb stepped to the plate and for the third time in as many innings, launched another home run, this time of the three-run variety. Miles Richardson (Granville/Newark Catholic) pounded a double, sending Niermann across the plate. A Steagall RBI single drove in Richardson for a 14-3 lead after the fourth.
With Bluffton ahead 16-3 heading to home half of the seventh, Broyles hit a two-run dinger for his second bomb of the day following an RBI three-bagger for Richardson as the Beavers upped their advantage to 19-3. The Yellow Jackets scored two runs in the eighth but 24 hits for the Beavers did Defiance in as Bluffton wrapped up its season sweep of their long-time rivals from Defiance County.
Nick Broyles, who recently broke his own school record of 39 runs scored in a season, went 4-of-6 with three runs and three RBI. He currently has 45 runs scored and 44 RBI which is just five shy of the school-record 49 RBI that he established a season ago. Broyles (110 career RBI) needs only four RBI to supplant Kyle Alberson (113) for #1 on the career list.
Tim Webb equaled another school record held by Kyle Alberson with his three home runs in the victory. Webb drove in five runs and scored three times. Kyle Niermann went 3-of-6 with three RBI and three runs scored. He is just five hits away from Tyler Stephenson's school record 67 hits in a season. Six Beavers finished with two safeties apiece, including Tyler Wright who scored three runs along with Miles Richardson, Kyle Trainer and Kevin Martin who all crossed the dish twice.
Kelly Barnes (Toledo/Christian), who went the distance in the Beavers' win at Defiance last Thursday, worked 5.2 innings of superb relief in improving to 4-1 on the season. He allowed just two runs on five hits with two strikeouts and two walks. Sophomore Mark Hadaya (Beavercreek) tossed a no-hit ninth as Bluffton finished up its rout of Defiance following two-game sweeps of Earlham College and Anderson University. The Beavers also finished their mid-week games with a perfect 7-0 mark this season.
Bluffton will attempt to add to its school-record six consecutive victories when the Beavers travel to Hanover College for a three-game series with the Panthers. The first contest is slated for Friday afternoon at 4 p.m.