Bluffton sweeps Franklin
Beavers open HCAC play with a three-game sweep of Franklin
By Bill Hanefeld Jr., sports information director
March 27, 2006
FRANKLIN, Ind. - The Bluffton University baseball team (7-7, 3-0 HCAC) traveled to Franklin College for an HCAC-opening three game series vs. the Grizzlies on Saturday, March 25 and Sunday, March 26, 2006. The Beavers took a pair of games on Saturday, 6-4 and 3-2, and came back with a pair of runs in the ninth inning on Sunday to complete the three-game sweep over Franklin who entered the weekend with a 9-2 record.
GAME 1 - Bluffton 6, Franklin 4
Franklin took an early 2-0 lead over the Beavers in game one when Verdeyan and Swienconek followed a Roberts walk with consecutive doubles.
Bluffton used a pair of singles, an error and a hit batter to get on the scoreboard in the second. Kyle White (Berne, Ind./South Adams) and Ryan Baightel (Wapakoneta/Wapakoneta) ripped back-to-back singles with White scoring when Tony Gerig (West Unity/Hilltop) was hit by a Shearin offering.
The Beavers bats exploded in the fourth inning for three runs on three hits and an error. Greg Sigg (Maumee/Maumee) and White opened the inning with singles and each moved up on a wild pitch. Baightel picked up Sigg with a deep sacrifice fly to center. Following an infield error, Gerig doubled to left center scoring White. Riordan McClain (Upper Sandusky/Upper Sandusky) was hit by a pitch and advanced to second when Shearin threw his second wild pitch of the inning. Lowell Wyse (Camden, Mich./Hesston J.C.) scored and Gerig moved to third on the wild pitch.
Franklin put together three singles in the fifth inning to plate two runs and knot the game at four.
Bluffton responded with a pair of runs in the top of the sixth to take a 6-4 lead which held up for the final two innings. After three Bluffton hits loaded the bases, Curtis Schroeder (Shelby/Shelby) picked up his first hit of the day at a most opportune time. His single to left field scored Tony Moore (Elida/Elida) and Gerig.
Kyle White led the Beavers as he went 3-of-4 at the plate and scored two runs. Gerig and pitcher Tim Kay (Alpharetta, Ga./Blessed Trinity) both collected two hits with Gerig and Schroeder each knocking in a pair of RBI's.
Kay picked up his first victory of the year as he spread out nine hits during seven innings of work on the hill. He struck out six Grizzlies and allowed only one base on balls.
GAME 2 - Bluffton 3, Franklin 2
Franklin again took an early lead over the Beavers in the second game of the series. Werner reached on a throwing error with one out in the second and moved to second on a Marino single. Both Grizzlies moved up on a double steal and Werner scored on an Anderson groudout.
A leadoff walk to Federoff in the third led to the second Grizzly run. He stole second following a Verdeyan foul out and scored when Swienconek singled to right field.
The Beavers scored all three of their runs in the fourth inning to take a 3-2 lead midway through the game. White drew a two-out walk to give Bluffton its first base runner in the fourth. Baightel doubled down the left field line and Wyse singled to the shortstop to plate White. Following a Wyse stolen base, Gerig ripped a single to left center scoring both Baightel and Wyse.
That was all the Beavers needed as freshman ace Justin Jones (Washington Court House/Washington Senior) gave up no hits over the final four innings to pick up the win for Bluffton. Jones (3-1) pitched a seven inning complete game, giving up only two hits while striking out four.
McClain and Sigg both ripped two hits in the victory. Gerig knocked in a pair of runs for the Beavers, including the game winner in the fourth inning.
GAME 3 - Bluffton 7, Franklin 6
Bluffton took the early lead over the Grizzlies in game three on Sunday. McClain, Kay and Schroeder all hit one out singles to give the Beavers a 1-0 lead after the first inning.
The lead was short lived as Franklin opened the third inning with a double and three walks to tie the game at one. Marino picked up the second run for Franklin with a sacrifice fly to right field. With runners on second and third, Werner went yard giving the Grizzlies a commanding 5-1 lead after only three innings.
Bluffton started the fourth inning with four consecutive singles to push two runs across the plate before a double play and strikeout stranded one as Bluffton cut the deficit to two runs.
The Beavers moved one run closer in the sixth inning. Baightel singled to open the frame and he moved up a base on a Wyse sacrifice. Moore picked him up with an RBI single to leave the Beavers down 5-4.
Baightel took advantage of a Grizzly error in the top of the eighth to tie the game when Gerig singled.
Franklin regained the lead in the bottom of the eighth despite only one hit in the inning. An error, a hit, a walk and a hit batter allowed the Grizzlies to put one run on the board in the eighth and take a 6-5 lead with only one inning left.
The Beavers were undaunted by the happenings of the previous inning and they put together three hits to take a 7-6 lead over the Grizzlies. Kay, Schroeder and Sigg hit consecutive singles and White ripped a sacrifice fly to give the Beavers their first lead of the game.
Following a leadoff walk and wild pitch, Will Gerber (Kidron/Central Christian) settled down and set the Grizzlies down in order to pick up the save for the Beavers.
The Beavers pounded out 17 hits in the final game of the Franklin series. Schroeder and Baightel both collected three hits to pace the balanced Beaver attack. Moore, Kay, Sigg, Wyse and Gerig all finished with two hits for the Beavers who improved to 7-7 with the victory. Moore knocked in two runs and Baightel scored three times for Bluffton.