Bluffton dismantles Northland and Finlandia
March 4, 2015
By: Colton Steiner, sports information assistant
FORT MYERS, Fla. - The Bluffton Beavers baseball had a great sixth inning against the Northland College Lumberjacks that helped move them to a 16-3 win, improving to 2-2 on the season. The loss drops the Lumberjacks to 1-3 on the year.
T.J. DEVORE (Grove City) was the first to score for the Beavers in the top of the second after a throwing error on the Lumberjacks. A single by REID MAUS (Hamilton/Baldin) brought home MICHAEL ALEXANDER (Monroe) to give Bluffton a 2-0 advantage. A sacrifice fly by CLAYTON SIDERS (Delaware/Worthington Christian) picked up Maus to put Bluffton up 3-0. LUKE HICKEY (Toledo/Whitmer) smacked an RBI single that drove in JEFF ROTH (Bellevue) to end the first inning for the Beavers.
Northland answered with a run in the bottom of the second before Bluffton added a run in the top of the third to make the score 5-1. The Beavers picked up another tally in the fifth inning to increase their lead to five. Two runs by the Lumberjacks in the bottom of the fifth made it a 6-3 ballgame.
Bluffton piled it on in the sixth inning as the Beavers scored eight runs for a 14-1 lead. A JAKE TOWNLEY (Mansfield/Madison) sacrifice fly to center scored Luke Hickey. A two-run single by Devore kept it rolling and RBI by Reid Maus, Clayton Siders and Luke Hickey made the score 12-1. A two-RBI single by TYLER SPALDING (Willis, Mich./Lincoln) rounded out the inning for Bluffton.
The Beavers added two more runs in the top of the ninth to cap of the 16-3 rout off Northland after Northland. Bluffton was led offensively by Luke Hickey who went 4-for-6 with two runs and two RBI. Freshman Reid Maus collected two hits along with two runs and three RBI. Michael Alexander scored three times for the Beavers and he added two RBI.
On the mound for Bluffton was senior BRAD SCHLABACH (Fredricksburg/Hiland) who tossed a complete game, allowing only three runs on 11 hits. Schlabach collected five strikeouts and did not issue a free pass while picking up the victory.
Bluffton faced the Finlandia Lions in its second game of the day, winning in mercy-rule fashion by a 24-1 count as they moved back over .500 at 3-2. The Lions are still in search of their first win of the season as they dropped to 0-6.
The Beavers got off to a hot start in the first inning as Luke Hickey scored on a wild pitch for a 1-0 lead. Another wild pitch and a throwing error made it 3-0 before a two-run single by Siders and an RBI single by Hickey pushed the score to 6-0. Siders stole home for a commanding 7-0 lead.
The Beavers added two runs in the second, third, and fourth innings before the Lions were able to score their lone run of the contest. Two more runs in the bottom of the fifth put Bluffton up 15-1. A nine-run seventh inning rounded out the day for the Beavers as they picked up the run-rule win, 24-1.
The Beavers pounded out 18 hits as a team with a batting average of .486 against the Lions. Bluffton was led by Luke Hickey who was a perfect 4-for-4 behind the plate along with two runs and two RBI. Clayton Siders and JACOB LERCH (Napoleon) each collected two hits, two runs, and two RBI in the ballgame.
Sophomore KEVIN EVERY (Zanesville/West Muskingum) was throwing fire from the mound as he notched his first win of the season in complete-game fashion. Every fanned nine batters and allowed only one run off three hits.
Bluffton faces Saint John’s on Thursday, March 5, at 9 a.m. in the first game of a doubleheader. The Beavers will wrap up their week in Florida on March 6 as they take on Alvernia before heading back to a different climate in Ohio.