Bluffton 11, Albion 10
March 20, 2014
BLUFFTON, Ohio - A wild pitch with the bags full of Beavers in the bottom of the ninth sent the Bluffton faithful into a frenzy as the home team came all the way back from an 8-4 deficit to cap an 11-10 victory over Albion College on a cold Thursday, March 20. Bluffton improved to 7-4 following its fifth consecutive victory, while the Britons dipped to 4-6 on the season.
Down 2-0 before the Beavers took their first turn at the plate, Bluffton cut the deficit in half when Tyler Spalding (Willis, Mich./Lincoln) singled home senior David Ianiro (Highland Heights/Mayfield) in the bottom of the frame. A three-run third put Bluffton up 4-2 as senior captains Doug Paullin (Jeromesville/Hillsdale) and Tim Webb (Delaware/Worthington Christian) rapped run-scoring singles for the home team.
The visitors took advantage of five hits and two Bluffton errors in the fourth, going up 8-4 before the Beavers started to chip away at the lead. Freshman backstop Dawson Scotch (North East, Penn./North East) made it 8-6 when his base knock sent pinch hitter Trenton Shindorf (Delta/Evergreen) and Tim Webb across the dish.
Albion tacked on a run in the sixth, but Bluffton responded with three scores in the bottom half, knotting the game at 9-9. The Beavers needed just one safety in the inning thanks to two walks, a wild pitch and a hit batter. Defensive replacement Luke Hickey (Toledo/Whitmer) did the rest with a two-run single to right center.
Junior Aaron Young (Shelby) took advantage of a stiff wind as his shot down the left field line to lead off the seventh made the score 10-9 when it tailed inside the pole. The Britons stayed alive with an eighth-inning answer, but with the bases loaded and just one out in the bottom of the ninth, a wild pitch sent Young scurrying home with the game winner.
Brad Schlabach (Fredericksburg/Hiland) worked a perfect ninth to record his third victory of the season against no losses. Taylor Gambrell (Bowling Green) made his mark with four innings of two-run ball. He allowed six hits and fanned two while keeping Bluffton in the game.
David Ianiro went 3-of-5 with three runs scored. He also swiped a base. Paullin, Webb and Young all scored twice for the victors. Webb and Hickey drove in two runs apiece, while Hickey and Young both finished 2-of-2 at the plate. Cade Randolph (Marengo/Highland) and Christian Vail (Lucas) added two hits apiece.
Bluffton jumps right back into action on Friday, March 21, when the Beavers travel to Rose-Hulman for game one of their first heartland Conference series of the season. The first pitch is slated for 6 p.m. in Terre Haute, Ind.