Beavers post Sunday sweep
April 10, 2016
By: Ryan Schadewald, sports information assistant
FLORENCE, Ky. - The Bluffton University baseball team and everyone else involved worked overtime on Sunday, April 10, and the extra work paid off as the Beavers swept Mount St. Joseph in Florence, Ky. for their first HCAC series victory of the season. Austin Prosser (Galion) crossed the dish in the 14th inning of game one for a 5-4 victory and freshman Tanner Hamilton (Centerville) launched an eighth inning grand slam, capping a 12-10 victory over the Lions after nearly eight hours of baseball! Bluffton improved to 8-16 overall and 3-8 in the Heartland Conference, while MSJ slipped to 16-9 and 5-7 in the HCAC.
It was all Lions early in the contest, as they put across two runs in the second and another in the third. Starter ALEX WAGNER worked six innings of one-hit baseball for Mount St. Joseph in keeping their lead at 3-0 through six frames.
The offense came alive for Bluffton in the seventh as the Lions dug into their bullpen. Bluffton got on the board with an RBI single from BRANDON MARABLE (Columbus/Hamilton Township) and a run-scoring double from TANNER HODGES (Taylor, Mich./John F. Kennedy) and MSJ led 3-2 after seven.
After the visitors plated a run in the eighth, the Beavers struck back with two more tallies of their own. JASON COLLIVER (Beavercreek) and Austin Prosser singled to lead off the inning and advanced to third on a throwing error. LUKE HICKEY (Toledo/Whitmer) scored Colliver on a groundout to shortstop. Prosser would then score on MSJ's second mishap of the frame, knotting the game at 4-4.
The game would stay at 4-4 all the way until the bottom of the 14th, as Prosser led
off with a single and moved to second on a balk. With Hickey up to
bat, Mount's fifth error of the game sent Prosser scurrying home to give the Beavers a 5-4 walkoff win!
Freshman Brandon Marable went 3-of-5 in the opener with an RBI. Prosser and Luke Hickey both chipped in with two hits and Prosser scored two times, including the game winner.
The Bluffton bullpen was fantastic in 12 innings of one-run relief. Junior Taylor Gambrell (Bowling Green) came on in the third and allowed just one unearned run in five innings with four strikeouts. Travis Clark (Lima/Central Catholic) tossed three shutout innings and limited the Lions to one hit. Four shutout innings by Dante D'Andrea (Westerville/North) sealed the victory as the freshman fanned five and did not issue a walk while improving to 2-2 on the season.
The rubber game of the set saw just as wild of a baseball contest as the noon game, with the Beavers needing another late-inning rally to pull off the win.
MSJ pushed two runs across in each of the first two innings, sandwiched around an
RBI double from Prosser which scored Colliver, to give the Lions a 4-1
The Beavers scored a run in each of the next two innings on a Luke Hickey sacrifice fly and a BLAKE FOX (Berne. Ind./South Adams) deep shot over the left field fence, but Bluffton still trailed 7-3 through four.
After MSJ added two in the sixth to lead 9-3, the Beaver offense exploded for four in the seventh. CLAYTON SIDERS (Delaware/Worthington Christian) walked to lead off the inning and stole second. Colliver would drive him in on an single through the right side to cut it to 9-4. The Beavers would load the bases and Colliver scored on a wild pitch to make it a four-run game. Colin Gregory (Fremont/Clyde) laced another RBI single and Fox knocked in a run to get his team within two at 9-7 after seven frames.
The Lions added an eighth inning insurance run to take a 10-7 lead before the Bluffton offense finished the job. Colliver led off another inning with a base-hit, followed by back-to-back walks to juice the bases. Gregory picked up Colliver on a sacrifice fly to left to get Bluffton to within 10-8. The Lions issued another walk to load the bases for Hamilton who drove one out of the park in left field for a grand slam as Bluffton took its first lead of the game at 12-10!
Travis Clark came in for the top of the ninth and closed the contest for his third save of the season as the Beavers nailed down their first Heartland Conference series victory.
Colliver was a perfect 4-of-4 with four runs scored and one RBI. Hamilton drove in four with his grand slam, while Gregory and Fox each added two RBI. Prosser scored two times.
Freshman Raymond Richard (Taylor, Mich./John F. Kennedy) worked the eighth inning for the win, allowing one run on one hit with two walks.
The Beavers will have a quick turnaround as Bluffton travels to rival Defiance College for a 4;15 start on Tuesday, April 12, 2016.