Bluffton splits to take series from Hanover
Bluffton wins fourth HCAC series of year with split at Hanover
April 30, 2011
By: Mallory Kemper, sports information assistant
HANOVER, Indiana - The Bluffton University baseball team received an outstanding performance
on the mound from sophomore Miles Richardson (Granville/Newark Catholic) in the Beavers' 3-2 game one extra-inning setback at
Hanover College on Saturday, April 30, 2011. Bluffton shook off their first setback
in eight games with a 5-3 victory in the series-clinching finale. The Beavers improved
to 10-11 in the HCAC and 18-18 overall, while Hanover fell to 9-10 in the conference
and 14-20 on the season. With three games against Manchester yet to play, Bluffton
has already equaled its school bests with 18 wins and 10 HCAC victories.
Hanover scored the first run of the game in the opening inning when a Ryan Grau single to right field sent Trent Barrett across the plate.
After five straight zeros went on the board for the visitors, the Beavers scored two runs in the sixth for a 2-1 lead. A leadoff single by Kevin Martin (Bryan) and a triple by Richardson knotted the contest at one. Airic Steagall (Hillsboro) drove in Richardson on a fielder's choice, putting Bluffton on top.
Hanover responded in the sixth with a Chris Blankman RBI single to left field. The two HCAC teams were still deadlocked (2-2) after seven innings, but a Zach Shultz sacrifice fly gave Hanover the 3-2 victory over the Beavers.
Ben Roeschley (Graymont, IL/Flanagan) fell to 3-1 after giving up one hit and one run in 1.1 innings of relief. Mitch Hunnicut improved his record to 7-2 following a complete-game five-hitter. Miles Richardson went 2-of-3 at the plate with one run and one RBI. Martin scored the other run for the Beavers.
Bluffton scored the first run of game two in the fourth inning with a Tyler Stephenson (Springfield/Northwestern) RBI single which picked up Kyle Niermann (Napoleon). Hanover scored two runs in the fourth to take a 2-1 lead.
In the fifth inning Niermann doubled down the right field line to send Martin home. A Panther error allowed Niermann to score and put the Beavers up by a 3-2 count which was short lived as the home team knotted it up with an unearned run the bottom of the frame. Two innings later, Nick Broyles (Toledo/Whitmer) hit a long ball for what turned out to the game winner as Bluffton won the finale 5-3.
Junior Kelly Barnes (Toledo/Toledo Christian) picked up the win, improving his record to 5-1. He held Hanover to just three hits and one run in 3.0 innings of relief. Senior Adrian Fritch (Edon) tossed 4.0 innings, allowing just five hits and two runs. Evan Frick fell to 1-1 on the season, giving up eight hits and five runs.
Nick Broyles went 3-of-4 at the plate with three RBI and two runs scored. His three RBI tied him with Kyle Alberson for #1 on the career RBI list 113. Broyles' stolen base (16) also pulled him within one of the single season mark (17) and within two of the the career thefts record (40). Tyler Stephenson added two hits and one RBI. Kyle Niermann also scored twice in the victory.
The Bluffton baseball team also put a few more notches on its belt in the series at
Hanover this weekend. Bluffton's 2011 squad now holds the all-time marks for hits
(437), runs (294), RBI (254) and total bases (618). Their 77 doubles is just one shy
of the mark set by the 2008 team.
Bluffton wraps up its 2011 campaign when the Beavers host Manchester College for a three-game HCAC series this weekend. The first contest is slated for 4 p.m. on Friday, May 6, at Memorial Field.