Bluffton splits for first HCAC victory over Manchester
April 3, 2016
By: Ryan Schadewald, sports information assistant
NORTH MANCHESTER, Ind. - The Bluffton University baseball team broke out the bats to get the monkey off their backs with a 10-4 victory over Manchester University to open the doubleheader on Sunday, April 3. The Beavers fell, 18-4, in the rubber game of the three-game set. Bluffton’s record now sits at 6-14 and 1-6 in HCAC play, while Manchester is 11-10 and 5-3 in conference action.
In the opener, Bluffton started the scoring early, as Austin Prosser (Galion) got on base after being hit by a pitch and he crossed the dish on an error from the Spartans to put the Beavers up, 1-0.
After Manchester took the lead with two runs in the home half of the third, the Beavers knotted the contest in the fourth as a sacrifice fly from Reid Maus (Hamilton/Badin) plated Colin Gregory (Fremont/Clyde).
The Spartans took the lead with a run in the fifth before the visiting bats woke up in the seventh. Run-scoring singles from Prosser and Gregory scored Luke Hickey (Toledo/Whitmer) and Jason Colliver (Beavercreek), who led off the inning with back-to-back base knocks. The Beavers added a third run to take a 5-3 advantage as Clayton Siders (Delaware/Worthington Christian) took a five-pitch walk to score Prosser.
The offense continued to roll in the eighth as Prosser garnered a second RBI single in as many innings, scoring Hodges and making it 6-3. Bluffton also added a second sacrifice fly, from Tommy Nobile (Reynoldsburg), to score Hickey and make it a 7-4 lead for the visitors.
Bluffton added some insurance runs in the ninth by putting three more on the board to ice the victory. Colliver would grab an RBI single, while Prosser reached on a fielding error which scored Hickey. The scoring wrapped up with a base hit by Nobile that drove in Colliver to finish off Bluffton’s 10-4 win.
On the offensive side of the ball, the Beavers finished with a season-high 16 base knocks, including nine hits from the top two batters in the order. Jason Colliver finished the contest 5-for-6, tying the school record, with five singles and two runs scored. Luke Hickey added four hits and Colin Gregory three for the Beavers.
Jaylen Von Sossan (Ottawa/Ottawa-Glandorf) started for the Beavers and threw five innings while giving up three runs on six hits. He walked four Spartans and struck out three. Taylor Gambrell (Bowling Green) earned his first victory of the year, throwing four frames and giving up just one run on four hits while fanning three.
Bluffton picked up where it left off in game one, jumping out to a 4-0 lead midway through the first frame. Nobile and Gregory got the scoring started with RBI doubles. Siders followed with a run-scoring single and Jeff Arnett (Tecumseh, Mich./Tecumseh) drew a free pass with the bases full for run number four.
The fun ended there for the visitors as Manchester tied the game with four runs in the second before exploding for six more in the third frame. The Spartans blew the game open with three tallies in the fourth and five runs in the sixth helped the home team make short work of the Beavers. With an 18-4 lead, Manchester claimed a mercy-rule victory in seven innings.
Gregory notched two hits, giving him five for the day and solidifying his spot in the lineup. Austin Every (Zanesville/West Muskingum) dropped his first decision of the year after allowing six runs on four hits in just two innings of work. Corey Johnson (Waverly) and Dante D'Andrea (Westerville/North) both saw action out of the bullpen.
The Beavers welcome Earlham College back to Bluffton for the second straight Tuesday on April 5, 2016. The first pitch is slated for 4:15 p.m. at Memorial Field.