Manchester 9, Bluffton 2
Manchester downs Bluffton 9-2 in series opener
April 26, 2013
By: Kyle Stover, sports information assistant
BLUFFTON, Ohio - Going into this weekend's series, the Bluffton University baseball team knows what it needs to do, but the Beavers were not able to get the job done on Friday, falling to #15 nationally-ranked Manchester University by a score of 9-2. The home team took an early lead, however, a pair of four-run innings by the Spartans allowed Manchester to post a victory in the series lidlifter.
Sophomore Nate Simonds (Ypsilanti, Mich./Lincoln) had a solid start aside from the third inning when he issued two walks and hit two batters, leading to four runs. Simonds (4-5) took the loss while going six innings, giving up seven hits and five runs, with five strikeouts.
Bluffton was able to take an early lead in the game, scoring right away in the first inning. The inning opened the right way with back-to-back singles by Miles Richardson (Granville/Newark Catholic) and Doug Paullin (Jeromesville/Hillsdale). Greg Franks (Smithville) came through to drive in the lone run later in the frame, hitting a two-out double.
After Manchester took a 4-1 lead in the third, the Beavers did respond, but were only able to score one. That run came when Paullin crossed the dish on a Spartan error during a pickoff attempt.
Bluffton had runners in scoring position in four of the last six innings, but the home team was unable to get a clutch hit to make a game of it.
Paullin, Niermann, David Ianiro (Highland Heights/Mayfield) and Jake Townley (Mansfield/Madison) all rapped two hits in the ballgame to lead the Beaver offense. Franks had the lone RBI for Bluffton.
With the loss, Bluffton slipped to 19-15 on the season with a 10-9 mark in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference. Manchester improved to 26-5-1 on the year and 16-3 in the HCAC. These two conference foes square off again tomorrow, April 27, in a doubleheader that is crucial for Bluffton's chances at making an appearance in the conference tournament. Game one of the Senior Day twinbill is slated for 12 p.m. at Memorial Field.