Bluffton splits with John Carroll
Miles Richardson shuts down Blue Streaks in 11-3 win over JCU
March 3, 2013
By: Kyle Stover, sports information assistant
PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. - The Bluffton University baseball team opened their 2013 campaign by splitting a doubleheader with John Carroll University at the Snowbird Baseball Classic in Port Charlotte, Fla., on Sunday, March 3. The Beavers started slowly in game one, falling behind early and eventually losing 16-5, but Bluffton quickly rebounded and dominated the Blue Streaks 11-3 in the nightcap.
Game one starting pitcher Brad Schlabach (Fredericksburg/Hiland) had a rough outing in his first appearance of 2013, allowing eight runs, seven earned, in just 1.2 innings of work. Junior Todd Stover (Tipp City/Tippecanoe) gave the Beavers 3.1 innings of outstanding relief, allowing two runs, both unearned, while walking none. John Carroll was up 9-0 in the top of the third and was threatening to score again when a ball was laced into the outfield, but senior centerfielder Miles Richardson (Granville/Newark Catholic) made a terrific catch to end the inning.
Bluffton's offense struggled early, not breaking into scoring column until the fifth inning when Richardson crushed a solo home run off John Carroll starter Jimmy Spagna. The Beavers scored two more times in that inning with two outs, capitalizing on a JCU error. Bluffton added two more runs in the bottom of the sixth inning on a two-run single by Tim Webb (Delaware/Worthington Christian) which cut the deficit to five runs, but JCU tacked on six insurance tallies in the top of the seventh to put the game away.
Anthony Cianci (Ravenna/Southeast) led the Beaver offense with three hits in game one, going 3-of-4. Jake Townley (Mansfield/Madison) went 2-for-4 with a double in his first collegiate start, while Webb was also 2-of-4 in game one.
Game two was a different story for Bluffton, as the Beavers jumped out to an early lead and never looked back. The scoring began in the second inning, which was led off by back-to-back singles from Richardson and David Ianiro (Highland Heights/Mayfield). Sophomore third baseman Jeff Roth (Bellevue) plated Ianiro later in the inning with an RBI single.
The Beavers added on three more runs in the top of the sixth, highlighted by a two-run double from Webb. A four-run eighth inning pushed the Bluffton lead to 10-2 as the Beavers took advantage of three hit batters, two walks and a wild pitch by John Carroll reliever Vincent Trivisonno.
Richardson was the starter on the mound in game two, getting the win following his six shutout innings of work. He was a bit wild, hitting four batters and walking three, but still kept the Blue Streaks off the scoreboard after JCU rolled up 16 runs in the opener. Richardson (1-0) allowed just one hit while striking out six.
A 3-1 putout from Townley to relief pitcher Ben Roeschley (Graymont, IL/Flanagan) ended the game, giving Bluffton a split in the doubleheader and their first win of the 2013 season. Roeschley collected the save after tossing three innings in relief. Webb led the Beaver offense in game two, going 4-of-6 with three RBI. Townley and Richardson both had three hits in the win while Ianiro was 2-for-3.
Bluffton hits the diamond again on Monday, March 4, in a doubleheader against Finlandia University and will look to continue with the momentum gained from the game two victory. The first contest is slated to start at 1 p.m. in Fort Myers, Florida.