Bluffton sweeps Thiel College
March 4, 2018
By: Colton Steiner, sports information assistant
FORT MYERS, Fla. - After their 2018 season kicked off with a big win against Ohio Wesleyan, the Bluffton University baseball team hit the road to the sunny state of Florida to play in the Gene Cusic Classic. The Beavers opened their week against the Thiel College Tomcats, putting together a sweep with a 9-1 win in the first game and a 6-4 victory in game two.
The Beavers struck first in the top of the third after RBI singles by RYAN GOLDEN (Findlay) and REID MAUS (Hamilton/Badin) put Bluffton up 2-0. JACOB LATKOFSKY (Temperance, Mich./Ida) earned his RBI after getting hit by a pitch with the bases loaded before a sacrifice fly by REID RUHL (Hamilton) plated another run for the Beavers, making it 4-0.
Thiel put up a run in the bottom of the third to make it 4-1, but Bluffton answered back with three runs for a commanding 7-1 margin. With COLIN GREGORY (Fremont/Clyde) and Ryan Golden on the basepaths, a single down the right field line by Reid Maus picked up Colin Gregory and a sacrifice fly from Jacob Latkofsky sent Ryan Golden home as the Beavers would take a 9-1 advantage. The defense was up to the task, forcing the Tomcats to go three-and-out in each of the final two innings en route to a 9-1 win in the first game of the day.
Bluffton pounded out 13 hits in the victory while only allowing five Tomcat safeties. Leading the way was Ryan Golden who went a perfect 3-for-3. Colin Gregory and Reid Maus added three hits each, while JON DOERING (Constantine, Mich./Constantine) tallied an RBI for the victors.
BRANTLEY CURNUTTE (Hilliard/Davidson) took the mound, allowing only one run off five hits in his 6.0 innings of work. Picking up the win and moving to 2-0 on the season, Curnutte struck out two batters with just one free pass.
After a short break, the Beavers were back on the field to face off against the Tomcats in their second and final game of the day. Bluffton again got on the board first when Jon Doering scored following a fielder’s choice. Neither team would score in the second or third innings, but the Beavers would get their offense going in the fourth. LENNY WINIARSKI (Cincinnati/LaSalle) would kick the scoring off with an RBI single which plated Doering. A sacrifice fly by ALEX LEMANSKI (Miamisburg) allowed Winiarski to score from third base. An RBI single by CHASE LAWNICZAK (Toledo/Whitmer) made the score 4-0.
Thiel would not go down without a fight as the Tomcats scored four unanswered to tie the game up entering the bottom of the sixth inning. The Beavers responded with two runs in the bottom of the inning to retake the lead, 6-4, following an RBI single by Alex Lemanski and a double steal that saw Maus cross the dish! Bluffton closed the afternoon out with a game-ending 4-6-3 double play to seal the 6-4 Beaver victory.
While the Beavers managed just four hits, they took advantage of eight free bases with six walks and two hit batters. Chase Lawniczak led the Beavers with two RBI while Alex Lemanski went 1-for-1 and scored. Jacob Latkofsky scored two runs for the winning Bluffton crew.
COLBY CLIFTON (Ohio City/Crestview) started the contest and the sophomore tossed 5.0 strong innings, allowing one run on five Tomcat hits. DANTE D’ANDREA (Westerville/North) picked up his first win of the season despite surrendering three runs on three hits with one walk in one inning of relief. Jack Bondy (Avon) needed just three batters to nail down his first save of the season.
Bluffton will be back at the field on Monday, March 5, when the Beavers face off against Moravian at 12 p.m. and then Baldwin Wallace at 3 p.m. You can keep up to date with the latest Beaver news on Twitter @Bluffton_sports and the athletics Website.