Franklin 8, Bluffton 3
Franklin opens HCAC series with 8-3 win at Bluffton
April 18, 2008
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University baseball team struggled to put hits together in an 8-3 loss to Franklin College following the dedication of Memorial Field on Friday, April 18, 2008. The Beavers fell to 12-16 overall and 4-8 in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference, while the Grizzlies improved to 18-10 with an 11-5 mark in the HCAC.
Franklin loaded the bases with a pair of singles and a walk in the first inning before the Beavers escaped major trouble when Tim Kay (Alpharetta, Ga./Blessed Trinity) struck out Derek Smith and Bluffton picked off Joel Chrobak who slipped between second and third. Mike Zuidema crossed the plate before Chrobak was called out, giving Franklin the early 1-0 lead.
The Beavers scored their only run off starter Jared Applegate in the bottom of the third inning when Kay doubled home Mike Ramthun (Springfield/Southeastern) from first base with two outs. Applegate was masterful on the hill, giving up just one run while scattering seven hits over eight innings with 10 strikeouts and three walks.
Paul Strack scored for Franklin in the fourth inning before Chrobak gave the Grizzlies a 4-1 lead with his two-run homer to left in the fifth.
Ian Sanders plated Chrobak with his single to center in the seventh and Adam Blackburn put the game on ice with a two-run shot in the top of the eighth for a 7-1 Franklin lead.
Smith opened the ninth with Franklin's third dinger of the game for an 8-1 lead before Will Gerber (Kidron/Central Christian) came on in relief of Nate Blanton (Cincinnati/LaSalle) and set Franklin down in order.
The Beavers rallied for two runs off Joe Paul in the ninth inning. Steve Roberts (West Salem/Mapleton) drove an RBI triple to center field and he came home on A.J. Ramthun's (Springfield/Southeastern) sacrifice fly to center, but it was not enough as Franklin took the first game of the series by a final score of 8-3.
Tony Moore (Elida/Elida) and Tim Kay both went 3-of-4 at the plate for the Beavers.
Kay fell to 2-4 with the loss after giving up five runs, three earned, on 10 hits in seven innings of work. He fanned seven batters and issued three free passes.
The Beavers wrap up their HCAC series against Franklin on Saturday, April 19, 2008, with a doubleheader. The first contest is slated to start at 12 p.m.