Anderson 11, Bluffton 8
April 17, 2015
By: Ryan Ebbeskotte, sports information assistant
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University baseball team hosted Anderson University on Friday, April 17, to start a three-game series at Memorial Field. The Ravens pulled away with a three-run ninth inning to prevail over the Beavers. Bluffton fell to 17-12 on the season and 10-7 in the HCAC, while Anderson stands atop the HCAC at 20-8 and 12-5 in league play.
Anderson jumped on top with five runs, one earned, in the first inning and held a 5-0 lead until the bottom of the fourth, when Bluffton erupted for six runs of its own. In the meantime, the home plate umpire took a pitch off the facemask that forced him from the game in the top of the second. An hour later the base umpire moved behind the plate and worked the final seven and a half innings by himself.
JAKE TOWNLEY (Mansfield/Madison) singled to start the inning and T.J. DEVORE (Grove City) drew a walk. TYLER SPALDING (Willis, Mich./Lincoln) drove in Townley and pushed Devore to third with a double. CADE RANDOLPH (Marengo/Highland) grounded out, but scored Devore to cut into the lead. Another run crossed the dish as CLAYTON SIDERS (Worthington Christian) singled to right.
After a pitching change for the Ravens, JEFF ROTH (Bellevue) ripped a base hit and MICHAEL ALEXANDER (Monroe) would drive in two more runs with a triple to the wall in right center. Before the dust settled, Alexander trotted home thanks to a LUKE HICKEY (Whitmer) RBI which put the Beavers on top, 6-5, heading into the fifth inning.
Anderson picked up solo runs in the fifth and sixth innings to retake the lead, 7-6, heading into the bottom of the sixth. Randolph reached on a throwing error to start the bottom half and he advanced to second after two outs were recorded. Alexander came through in the clutch for the Beavers with an RBI single to tie the game at 7-7.
The Ravens went back ahead with a run in the seventh inning and three more in the ninth to lead 11-7 before the Beavers would take their last at bat. Hickey drew a walk and MIKE CASTRO (Reynoldsburg) made it 11-8 with an RBI double. Anderson closer Nicholas Nunez came on and slammed the door with the tying run at the plate, firing a pair of strikeouts for his third save of the season.
NATE SIMONDS (Ypsilanti, Mich./Lincoln) started for Bluffton and went five innings, giving up only two earned runs (five unearned). COREY JOHNSON (Waverly) had two strikeouts in three innings of relief, but he was saddled with his first loss of the season (3-1).
Alexander went 2-of-5 with three RBI. Devore finished 2-of-4 with a run scored
Bluffton hosts Anderson again on Saturday, April 18, for a doubleheader to cap the three-game series with the first contest of Strikeout Cancer Day scheduled for 12 PM.