Beavers move to 4-4 with Friday sweep
March 11, 2016
FORT MYERS, Fla. - The Bluffton University baseball team notched a pair of wins on Friday, March 11, at the Gene Cusic Classic in Fort Myers, Fla. Bluffton used a five-run seventh to put away Rockford, 9-5, in the opener before capping the day with a two-run eighth for a 4-3 victory over Wisconsin Lutheran in the nightcap. Bluffton evened its record at 4-4 on the season heading into their final contest from Florida, a matchup with Haverford at 9 a.m. on Saturday, March 12.
Rockford jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first, but a bases loaded walk to Tommy Nobile (Reynoldsburg) and a Tanner Hamilton (Centerville) RBI single in the home half put Bluffton up 2-1. The Regents battled back to knot the score at 2-2 in the top of the fourth before going ahead 4-2 an inning later.
Austin Prosser (Galion) picked up Luke Hickey (Toledo/Whitmer) with a ground ball to second in the bottom of the third, pulling Bluffton within a run at 4-3. The floodgates opened up in the seventh when five Beavers crossed the dish for an 8-4 Bluffton spread. Nobile laced a two-run single down the left field line to kick off the scoring spree before Jason Colliver (Beavercreek) delivered a two-run double to left center. Reid Maus (Hamilton/Badin) singled home Colliver for run five of the inning.
a Rockford run in the eighth made the score 8-5, but a wild pitch in the bottom of the frame allowed Clayton Siders (Delaware/Worthington Christian) to cross the dish with the final tally of the game.
Taylor Gambrell (Bowling Green) allowed four runs on seven hits in five innings of work but did not figure in the decision. Dante D'Andrea (Westerville/North) gave up just one score on two hits in three innings on the bump. He picked up is first collegiate win after fanning two. Travis Clark (Lima/Central Catholic) worked the ninth to close out game one.
Hickey, Siders and Colliver all finished with multiple hits. Nobile drove in three runs, while Hickey and Siders both scored three times. Colliver chipped in with two RBI.
Game two saw Wisconsin Lutheran take advantage of three hits in the top of the third as the Warriors took a short-lived 2-0 lead. Luke Hickey tripled home Maus and Brandon Marable (Columbus/Hamilton Township) in the home half, evening the score at 2-2 heading to the fourth.
The visitors on the scoreboard used a leadoff walk and a wild pitch to go up 3-2 in the fourth and that lead held until the bottom of the eighth when Hickey and Nobile notched RBI singles. With Bluffton clinging to a 4-3 advantage going the ninth, the Warriors used a leadoff double to get deeper into the Beaver bullpen. Travis Clark came out for his second stint of the day and he retired Wisconsin Lutheran in order for his second save in three days.
Hickey and Marable both rapped two hits for the victors. Marable scored twice and Hickey drove in three runs to pace the offense. Raymond Richard (Taylor, Mich./John F. Kennedy) worked three innings of shutout relief for his first collegiate victory. Brantley Curnette (Hilliard/Davidson) allowed three runs on six hits in his second start of the season.
The Beavers will wrap up their week in Florida with a 9 a.m. matchup against Haverford College on Saturday, March 12. Bluffton jumps right back into action on Tuesday, March 15, when the Beavers host local rival Ohio Northern at Memorial Field.