Rose-Hulman takes a pair at Bluffton
April 25, 2015
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University baseball team avoided the predicted heavy rainfall that blanketed much of Ohio on Saturday, April 25, but it could not avoid a pair of nasty pitching performances by the visiting Rose-Hulman Engineers, scoring only two runs, one earned, in 20 innings of play. Bluffton slipped to 20-15 overall and 13-9 in the Heartland Conference, while RHIT moved into first place at 14-7 in the HCAC and 21-12 overall. Bluffton fell 3-2 (11 innings) in game one and 7-0 in game two.
The home team went up 1-0 in the bottom of the first before Bluffton's Jake Townley (Mansfield/Madison) ripped the first hit of the game. Luke Hickey (Toledo/Whitmer) was hit by a pitch and he moved to second on a passed ball. Hickey slid over to third on Michael Alexander's (Monroe) ground ball to second before crossing the dish when Mike Castro (Reynoldsburg) grounded out with a high chopper to third.
Clayton Siders (Delaware/Worthington Christian) reached on a Rose error to lead off the third and he stole second with one down. Alexander made it 2-0 with his RBI single to right center. The Engineers cut the deficit in half with an unearned tally in the fifth as Nate Simonds (Ypsilanti, Mich./Lincoln) continued to deal. Rose tied it up with another solo run in the top of the eighth, making it 2-2 heading to the ninth.
The Beavers had a chance to push a run across in the 10th with runners at first and second but RHIT closer Alec McNally got an inning-ending strikeout to set the stage for the 11th. Taylor Gambrell (Bowling Green) got the first two outs before back-to-back base hits were followed by a tough ball to Castro which allowed the visitors to go up 3-2. Castro singled to start the bottom of the frame, but McNally retired three straight Beavers to cap off the Rose celebration.
Simonds was on top of his game, allowing just two runs, one earned, in eight innings of work. He fanned five and walked just one batter while scattering six hits. Gambrell fell to 1-3 despite allowing just an unearned run in three innings of relief with one strikeout.
Game two saw R. J. Carroll go the distance for the Engineers as the senior tossed a complete-game shutout while upping his season mark to 5-1. He struck out six following game one when Karson Nixon sent 12 Beavers back to dugout with a K beside their name. Brad Schlabach (Fredericksburg/Hiland) was saddled with his first loss of the season after five consecutive victories. The senior surrendered six runs on 12 hits with three strikeouts and no walks in five innings on the hill.
Castro and T.J. Devore (Grove City) both finished with two hits in the second contest after Nixon and McNally limited the Beavers to four paltry hits in game one.
Bluffton will look to get back on the winning track when the Engineers return to Memorial Field on Sunday, April 26. The Senior Day contest is slated for 1:30 p.m.