Bluffton earns split with Wilmington on day one
March 6, 2016
By: Ryan Schadewald, sports information assistant
FORT MYERS, Fla. - The Bluffton University baseball team opened their season in sunny Fort Myers, Fla. with a split against Wilmington on Sunday, March 6. The Quakers scored a run in the ninth to tie game one and then plated another score in the 10th for the 4-3 victory before Bluffton evened its record with an 11-7 win in game two.
The 2016 lidlifter was a pitcher's duel, as Bluffton junior Taylor Gambrell (Bowling Green) and Wilmington freshman Jarrett Trautman combined to give up just three hits through the opening three frames. The Beavers would strike first in the bottom of the fourth as Austin Prosser (Galion) doubled down the left field line and scored when Clayton Siders (Delaware/Worthington Christian) reached on an error and Bluffton took a 1-0 lead.
Bluffton would add another in the fifth as Reid Maus (Hamilton/Badin) singled to open the inning and came around to score on a sacrifice fly from Luke Hickey (Toledo/Whitmer), making it 2-0 Beavers. Bluffton tacked on another score in the sixth as Prosser laced his third poke of the day with another double down the line in left. Two batters later, Jason Colliver (Beavercreek) singled through the right side to put the Beavers up 3-0 after six.
The eighth spelled trouble for Gambrell, however, as he allowed two runs on four hits that finished his day after a superb 7.2 innings to open the season. Prosser would slam the door to end the eighth and keep Bluffton on top, 3-2.
But in the ninth the Quakers would load the bases and knot the game on a hit by pitch from Lugiano for a 3-3 score. The Beavers would go down in order in the ninth and the Quakers added one in the 10th on a Jake Hyatt double down the line to put Wilmington up, 4-3. Hickey reached on an error, but the Quakers then set down the Beavers to earn their first win of the season.
Taylor Gambrell threw a masterful opener for the Beavers, giving up two runs on six hits, while striking out seven Quakers in 7.2 innings pitched. The junior gave up just two base knocks in his opening six innings of work. Prosser came in and threw 1.1 innings and gave up one run on two hits, while Garrett Siefer (Maumee) took the loss by giving up the final tally.
Austin Prosser led the charge at the plate, going 3-for-4 with two doubles and two runs scored in the opener, while Tommy Nobile (Reynoldsburg), Jason Colliver and Reid Maus added a hit apiece.
Game two saw the Beavers get back on track as they used big fifth and sixth innings en route to an 11-7 victory over the Quakers.
Clayton Siders opened the scoring in the second inning as he singled to left field, advanced on a balk, and scored on an error to give Bluffton a 1-0 advantage. They added two more in the third as Tommy Nobile scored on a sac fly from Blake Fox (Berne, Ind./South Adams) and Tanner Hamilton (Centerville) crossed the dish after a fielding error to make it 3-0.
The middle innings were kind to the Beavers, as they added a three spot in the fifth. Nobile reached with a lead-off single, stole second, and scored on another error by the Quakers. Fox added a run-scoring double and Siders drove him in with a base knock to center and the Beavers held a 6-0 lead. They did it again in the sixth, as Fox added another RBI when he was hit by a pitch with the bases juiced. Hickey would add a run on a double play ball and Siders rapped another RBI single to left for a 9-0 advantage.
The Quakers would score a run in the sixth to make the score 9-1 after six innings, ending starter Brantley Curnette's (Hilliard/Davidson) afternoon with a superb six innings of work. Kevin Every (Zanesville/West Muskingum) came on in the seventh and the Quakers hit the scoreboard with five runs in the inning, making it 9-6 through seven.
The Beavers would notch two more runs in the eighth inning after Jason Colliver picked up Blake Fox with a sacrifice bunt. They would score their second run thanks to a Quaker error. Wilmington was able to get another run in the eighth after an RBI triple made the score 11-7.
JAYLEN VON SOSSAN (Ottawa/Ottawa-Glandorf) took the mound in the final inning for the Beavers. After allowing a pair of singles and a hit by pitch, the bases were loaded with two outs left. Von Sossan took on the challenge and struck out the final batter to give the Beavers the 11-7 victory and their first win in the 2016 season.
Brantley Curnette had a great day in his six innings of work, allowing only one run off three hits. He fanned seven batters while not issuing walk. Pacing Bluffton at the plate for Bluffton was Clayton Siders who went 3-for-4 with two RBI and Blake Fox who had a team-high three RBI in the game.
The Beavers return to action on Monday, March 7, at the Gene Cusic Classic in Fort Myers as they play a double-header against Wabash College. First pitch for the opener is set for 3 p.m. You can follow all the action from Florida on our Twitter page @bluffton_sports.