Manchester 6, Bluffton 1
March 29, 2014
NORTH MANCHESTER, Ind. - The Bluffton University baseball team was unable to find its rhythm offensively as host Manchester University opened the three-game Heartland Conference series with a 6-1 victory on Saturday, March 29, 2014. Bluffton slipped to 7-9 overall and 0-4 in the HCAC, while Manchester improved to 8-9 and 2-2 in the conference.
Back-to-back doubles by junior Mike Castro (Reynoldsburg) and senior Tim Webb (Delaware/Worthington Christian) to open the top of the second put Bluffton on the scoreboard first, however, that was the end of the scoring for the visitors from Ohio as Manchester responded with a pair of tallies in the third and three more in the fourth en route to a comfortable 5-1 lead.
Spartan ace Temujin Sery locked down the Bluffton bats, allowing just the one run on eight hits in a complete-game effort. Sery fanned nine Beavers and did not allow a free pass while improving to 2-0 on the season. Manchester tacked on an unearned run in the eighth for the 6-1 final margin.
Bluffton senior Nate Simonds (Ypsilanti, Mich./Lincoln) was solid in the loss, allowing six runs, just three earned, in eight innings of work. He surrendered 11 hits and finished with two strikeouts. Freshman Luke Hickey (Toledo/Whitmer) continued his hot hitting, going 3-of-4 against the Spartans. Webb added two safeties to Bluffton hit total.
The Beavers will return to North Manchester for the completion of the series on Sunday, March 30, when the final two contests will be played. Game one is slated for 12 p.m.