Bluffton 6, Earlham 4
April 8, 2014
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University baseball team saw its 4-1 lead slip away in the top of the eighth, but a pair of tallies in the home half sent the Beavers to a 6-4 victory over Earlham College on Tuesday, April 8, 2014. Bluffton improved to 11-12 overall and 4-7 in the Heartland Conference, while the Quakers fell to 11-12 and 3-8 in the HCAC.
Back-to-back doubles by Luke Hickey (Toledo/Whitmer) and Tim Webb (Delaware/Worthington Christian) gave Bluffton a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning. Earlham responded with a score in the fourth, but the home team added runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth for a 4-1 lead heading into the latter stages of the contest.
Junior Jeff Roth (Bellevue) lifted a sacrifice fly to center in the fourth, plating Cade Randolph (Marengo/Highland) before David Ianiro (Highland Heights/Mayfield) launched a leadoff homer an inning later. Jake Townley (Mansfield/Madison) singled and came around to score in the sixth following Christian Vail's (Lucas) bunt single.
The visitors made a game of it with three runs in the eighth, but Bluffton answered with two of its own in the bottom of the frame. Michael Alexander (Monroe) picked up Vail with a sacrifice fly and Roth scurried home when Ianiro got caught in a rundown, making the score 6-4. Weekend starter Nate Simonds (Ypsilanti, Mich./Lincoln) slammed the door in the ninth for the victory as he worked around a one-out single to close out the win.
Freshman Dyson Bowman (Coshocton) earned the start and took full advantage, limiting Earlham to one unearned run on just three hits in seven superb innings. He fanned five and walked three but was not involved in the decision thanks to the three Quaker tallies in the eighth. Simonds won for the second time in four days. He recorded the final four outs after going seven strong innings on Saturday.
Webb, Townley and Vail all finished with three hits in the victory. Six different Beavers crossed the dish Tuesday night.
Bluffton continues its eight-game homestand when it welcomes Transylvania University to Memorial Field on Friday, April 11. The first game of the series is slated for 4:15 p.m. with the Saturday doubleheader scheduled for 12 p.m. on Saturday.