Ravens sweep Bluffton in HCAC opener
March 25, 2016
By: Ryan Schadewald, sports information assistant
ANDERSON, Ind. - The Bluffton University baseball team suffered a pair of losses at the hands of the Anderson University Ravens to open HCAC play on Good Friday, March 25. The Beavers lost the opener, 7-1, before dropping the nightcap, 7-5. Bluffton fell to 5-10 on the season while Anderson improved to 5-9 on the year.
The game began as a pitcher’s duel, with Taylor Gambrell (Bowling Green) only giving up one run through his first four innings of work and Jake Eaton throwing a shutout through five for the Ravens.
However, Anderson chased Gambrell in the fifth after he surrendered four tallies on three hits in the frame to give the Ravens a commanding 5-0 advantage after five.
The home team added two more in the sixth off Austin Every (Zanesville/West Muskingum) to put Anderson in front, 7-0. The Beavers would score their only run in the seventh on a Jason Colliver (Beavercreek) RBI single which plated Austin Prosser (Galion) to wrap up the scoring in game one.
Starter Taylor Gambrell gave up five runs on seven hits in 4.1 innings. He finished with four strikeouts. Austin Every struggled with his control in 3.2 innings of work, walking five Ravens and giving up two runs on five hits while striking out three.
Offensively, Bluffton finished with nine hits with three Beavers coming up with multiple safeties. Austin Prosser tallied two hits and a run scored, while Tommy Nobile (Reynoldsburg) and Jason Colliver both added two hits apiece for the Beavers.
The Beavers kicked off the scoring right away in the nightcap as Luke Hickey (Toledo/Whitmer) led off the contest with a double and scored on a passed ball to give Bluffton a quick 1-0 lead. Anderson quickly responded with a run in the bottom of the inning to tie the game at 1-1.
The score would remain tied until the fourth, when Blake Fox (Berne, Ind./South Adams) drove one over the fence in left field to put his team ahead 2-1.
After the Ravens tied the game at two, a Colliver RBI single would score Fox in the sixth to give the Beavers a 3-2 lead. However in the bottom of the frame, the Ravens put a five-spot on the board, pulling away from Bluffton for a 7-3 advantage.
Dennis Szalai (LaGrangey/Keystone) would score on an error and an Austin Prosser sacrifice fly picked up Luke Hickey in the seventh to pull the Beavers within two, but Bluffton would get no closer, falling 7-5 in the nightcap.
Freshman Brantley Curnette (Hilliard/Davidson) threw four innings for the Beavers, giving up two runs on four hits. Dyson Bowman (Coshocton) surrendered five runs and fell to 1-1 on the season. Dante D’Andrea (Westerville/North) struck out three in two shutout innings of relief, while Travis Clark (Lima/Central Catholic) pitched a perfect ninth inning for Bluffton.
Anderson started Brian Page, who threw six innings and gave up three runs on five hits, fanned 10 Beavers in moving to 3-1 on the season for the Ravens.
Luke Hickey led the offense in the nightcap, going 2-for-4 with two doubles and two runs scored in the loss.
The Beavers will attempt to get back on track in the finale of the three-game series in Anderson, Ind. on Saturday, March 26, as they take on the Ravens. First pitch is set for 12 p.m.