Bluffton 16, Defiance 10
By: Ryan Schadewald, sports information assistant
April 1, 2014
DEFIANCE, Ohio - The Bluffton University baseball team earned a much-needed victory on Tuesday, April 1 as they defeated their arch-rival Defiance College Yellow Jackets, 16-10. The Beavers racked up nine runs on only four hits by taking advantage of three errors, two hit batters and a walk from the Jackets in the top of the first inning and never looked back. The win helped the Beavers improve to 8-11 overall and 1-6 in the Heartland Conference, while the Yellow Jackets dropped to 7-12 and they are also 1-6 in the HCAC. Bluffton wrapped up a superb day on the campus of rival Defiance College as the softball team swept DC (9-1 in five innings and 4-0) to give the Beavers a 3-0 mark against the Jackets on Tuesday afternoon.
The first-inning rally began with a David Ianiro (Highland Heights/Mayfield) walk and was followed by a two-bagger from freshman Luke Hickey (Toledo/Whitmer). After catcher Tim Webb (Delaware/Worthington Christian) picked up Ianiro with a fielder's choice, Defiance pitcher Joel Musser hit back-to-back batters to load the bases and then score Hickey. Webb and Jake Townley (Mansfield/Madison) then crossed the dish on back-to-back Yellow Jacket errors. An RBI-single from Michael Alexander (Monroe) and a two-run single from Hickey capped the Beavers' nine-run first inning.
Bluffton added two more in the fourth inning thanks to senior Christian Vail's (Lucas) first career dinger. The Yellow Jackets rebounded in the bottom half of the inning with four runs of their own, ending freshman Dyson Bowman's (Coshocton) day on the mound after four innings. He gave up four runs, all unearned, on three hits with four walks and three strikeouts. It was also Bowman's first career win as he improved to 1-3.
The Beavers added three more in the sixth inning thanks to a three-run shot for Luke Hickey, giving the Beavers a 14-3 lead. The visitors scored one in the seventh on an RBI single from Vail and the final run in the eighth inning following a Townley sacrifice fly.
Freshman Luke Hickey led the way for the Beavers, going 5-for-6 with his first home run, five RBI and three runs scored. It marked the first five-hit day for a Beaver since Miles Richardson and Tim Webb accomplished the feat in 2012. Christian Vail went 3-of-6 with a homer, three RBI and two runs scored. Alexander, Ianiro, Castro, and Roth all finished with two hits apiece.
The Bluffton baseball team gets back to action on Friday, April 4, when they return to Memorial Field for the first home three-game series of the season with Hanover College. First pitch on Friday is set for 4:15 p.m., while they are scheduled to play a 12 p.m. doubleheader with the Panthers on Saturday, April 5. Come support your Beavers!