Bluffton 8, Defiance 7
March 25, 2015
By: Ryan Schadewald, sports information assistant
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University baseball team fell behind 6-1 midway through the fourth frame, but the Beavers scored seven times in their next four innings for an improbable 8-7 victory over rival Defiance College on a windy Wednesday, March 25, 2015. Bluffton improved to 11-5 with a perfect 4-0 mark in Heartland Conference action. It marks the best HCAC start in school history. Defiance slipped to 6-6 overall and 1-3 in the conference.
Defiance put the home team on its heels with four runs on five hits over the first two innings, including three tallies in the second frame. A Clayton Siders (Delaware/Worthington Christian) double to the wall in left field made the score 4-1 heading to the third when T.J. Devore (Grove City) crossed the dish. Defiance added two more in the fourth and another in the fifth, sandwiched around another Devore run to take a 7-2 lead in the middle of the fifth.
The bottom of the fifth keyed the comeback for the Beavers. After a Tyler Spalding (Willis, Mich./Lincoln) single the Yellow Jackets walked three and hit another batter, pushing two runs across the plate. The home team added a third on a sacrifice fly from senior Jeff Roth (Bellevue), making it a two-run game.
The Beavers continued the comeback in the sixth with another sacrifice fly by Jake Townley (Mansfield/Madison) and an RBI base knock from Michael Alexander (Monroe). The winning run was scored in the seventh after a ground ball by Siders scored freshman Reid Maus (Hamilton/Badin).
Bluffton reliever Taylor Gambrell (Bowling Green) earned his first win of the season (1-2), pitching 3.1 innings of standout relief and giving up just two hits while striking out two Yellow Jackets, improving his record to 1-2. Austin Prosser (Galion) collected his second career save by getting the final two outs in the victory.
The home team was led by Jeff Roth,who went 3-for-4 with two RBI. Tyler Spalding was 3-for-5 and scored a run. T.J. Devore finished 2-of-3 with two runs scored and an RBI.
The Beavers hit the road this weekend and will put their undefeated HCAC run on the line as they take on the Hanover College Panthers. First pitch on Friday, Mar. 27, is set for 4 p.m., with the final two games slated for Saturday at 12 p.m.