Manchester 16, Bluffton 5
April 2, 2016
By: Ryan Schadewald, sports information assistant
NORTH MANCHESTER, Ind. - The Bluffton University baseball team continued their struggles in Heartland Conference play as they fell in the opener of a three-game set to the Manchester University Spartans, 16-5, on Saturday, April 2. The second game of today’s scheduled doubleheader was postponed due to the rain/snow mix that stopped play multiple times during Saturday’s contest. The teams will now play two on Sunday, April 3, with a 12 p.m. first pitch. Manchester improves to 10-8 overall and 4-1 in the HCAC, while Bluffton is now 5-13 and 0-5 in conference.
The Beavers got on the board in the second inning as Clayton Siders (Delaware/Worthington Chrsitian) scored on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Colin Gregory (Fremont/Clyde) to put the visitors up 1-0.
The Spartans would score two runs in the second, but the Beavers knotted it on an Austin Prosser run-scoring double and the contest was tied at 2-2.
The Spartans added two more in the third before exploding for five more in the fifth to jump to a 9-2 lead. The Beavers put up two runs in the sixth frame, as back-to-back RBI singles from Luke Hickey (Toledo/Whitmer) and Jason Colliver (Beavercreek) cut the Spartan lead to 9-4 in the middle of the sixth.
The Beavers plated another in the seventh when Blake Fox (Berne, Ind./South Adams) ripped another RBI single to score Siders while making the score 9-5.
The Spartans tacked on two in the seventh and five more in the eighth to pull away for a 16-5 victory.
Freshman Brantley Curnette (Hilliard/Davidson) struggled on the mound, suffering his first loss after giving up four runs on three hits in 2.1 innings. Dyson Bowman (Coshocton) tossed 4.2 innings and Raymond Richard (Taylor, Mich./John F. Kennedy) finished the contest with the final frame for the Beavers.
Offensively, Luke Hickey pounded out three base knocks, while Jason Colliver and Blake Fox added two hits apiece. Clayton Siders got on base three times and scored three runs for the Bluffton.
The Beavers will finish the series with a doubleheader on Sunday, April 3. First pitch is set for 12 p.m. The Earlham Quakers come back to town on Tuesday, April 5, for the next home contest at Memorial Field at 4:15 p.m.