Moravian 4, Bluffton 2
Nate Simonds tosses complete game in 4-2 loss to Moravian
March 7, 2013
By: Kyle Niermann, sports information intern
PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. - On the Beavers' sixth day down in Florida, they ran into a stiff test from the Moravian Greyhounds. It was low scoring affair as pitching dominated the day and Bluffton dropped only its second game of the season by a score of 4-2.
The Beavers got everything they could ask for and more out of starting pitcher Nate Simonds (Ypsilanti Mich,/Lincoln) who went the complete nine innings. He worked very efficiently, throwing only 102 pitches. The sophomore hurler scattered nine hits, struck out four, walked only one, and gave up four runs, two of which were earned. It was the outing Bluffton needed to keep their five-game win streak alive.
The Beaver offense did manage to out-hit the Greyhounds, totaling 10 hits on the afternoon, however, they never got the big hit they needed as Bluffton stranded at least one runner every inning, totaling 13 runners left on base.
Bluffton's two runs came in the sixth and eighth innings. In the sixth, David Ianiro (Highland Heights/Mayfield) led off with a walk and moved to second on a groundout. Following another walk, Moravian made a pitching change. Jeff Roth (Bellevue) then chopped a ball to short and the throw was wide of first, rolling into foul territory. Ianiro scored from second on the play, leaving runners at second and third with only one out. However, those runners were stranded as the next two batters struck out and popped out to end the threat.
The eighth inning seemed to be one of promise for the Beavers as it began with back-to-back singles by Greg Franks (Smithville) and Mike Castro (Reynoldsburg). Roth then laid down a sacrifice bunt, putting runners on second and third with one out for Kyle Niermann (Napoleon). Niermann bounced a 2-0 pitch to second base, driving in Franks and making the score 4-2. But again, the threat was stymied when the next batter lined a one-hopper to the third baseman who picked the ball cleanly and tossed it over to first for the final out of the inning.
The bottom of the ninth also looked good for the Beavers, and for a moment it appeared as if the stagnant offense could squeeze out a few runs, but like the rest of the day, the big hit never came. The inning began with a groundout to second base. Tim Webb (Deleware/Worthington Christian) then lined a ball up the middle for a base hit, followed by Jake Townley (Mansfield/Madison) who did the same. Michael Alexander (Monroe) and Christian Vail (Lucas) pinch ran for Webb and Townley, respectively. Junior captain Doug Paullin (Jeromesville/Hillsdale) was called in to pinch hit. He waited for his pitch and got it, lacing a fastball right back up the middle for what looked like a sure hit and run. In the way, however, was the glove of Moravian closer Charles Savite who snagged the ball and lightly tossed to first for the double play to end the threat, and the game.
Anthony Cianci (Ravenna/Southeast), Webb, Townley and Castro all laced two hits for the Beavers. Simonds was saddled with the loss despite limiting Moravian to four runs, two earned, in a complete-game effort.
The loss dropped the Beavers to 5-2 on the young season. Bluffton looks to bounce back on Friday when it travels to Fort Myers for a doubleheader with Anna Maria which is scheduled to start at 1 p.m.