Ohio Northern 6, Bluffton 5
Ohio Northern scores three in eighth for 6-5 win over Beavers
April 8, 2013
ADA, Ohio - Local rivals Bluffton and Ohio Northern traded jabs from the fourth inning on, but the Polar Bears laughed last when they scored three runs in the home half of the eighth and held on for the 6-5 win over Bluffton University on Monday, April 8, 2013. Bluffton slipped to 13-12 overall, while ONU upped its season mark to 11-12.
With senior hurler Mark Hadaya (Beavercreek) cruising through the Polar Bear hitters, Bluffton went up 1-0 in the fourth thanks to a two-out rally. Jake Townley (Mansfield/Madison) doubled and Mike Castro (Reynoldsburg) was hit by a pitch bringing fellow sophomore Jeff Roth (Bellevue) to the plate. The slick-fielding third baseman cashed in with a run-scoring single to right center for the first tally of the game.
Ohio Northern responded an inning later when the Polar Bears made it 3-1 on the strength of three singles and a Jack LaMarca triple.
The visitors knotted it up in the top of the sixth thanks to a double steal by David Ianiro (Highland Heights/Mayfield) and T.J. Devore (Grove City). Townley followed it up with an RBI single which pushed Ianiro across the plate.
Ianiro drew a free pass with the bases juiced in the seventh, putting Bluffton up 4-3 when Anthony Cianci (Ravenna/Southeast) walked home.
Bluffton had a chance to make the home team pay in the eighth following a leadoff double by Castro and a Polar Bear error on a sacrifice bunt by Jeff Roth, but with Roth in scoring position the Beavers were unable to move him over before he was thrown out at the plate trying to score on a Kyle Niermann (Napoleon) single to right.
Trailing by just two runs, 5-3, heading to the bottom of the frame, Ohio Northern took advantage of its new life and delivered three runs despite a 5-4-3 ground ball double play that forced the Polar Bears to do all their damage with two outs.
A leadoff single by Greg Franks (Smithville) was all Bluffton could muster in the ninth as Ohio Northern held on for the 6-5 victory over its rival to the west.
Niermann, who leads the HCAC with a blistering .437 BA, Cianci, Franks and Townley all finished with two hits for the Beavers who pounded out 13 safeties in the loss. However, the visitors left 10 men on base.
Hadaya (1-2) gave Bluffton an outstanding complete-game effort on the mound. He allowed six runs on 12 hits in eight innings with six strikeouts and no walks.
The Beavers jump right back into action on Tuesday afternoon when Bluffton welcomes Earlham College to Memorial Field. The Heartland Conference contest is slated for 4:15 PM.