Bluffton opens Hanover series with Friday split
April 28, 2017
HANOVER, Ind. - The Bluffton University bats found their stroke in the second inning of game two, helping the Beavers to a split at Hanover on Friday, April 28, 2017. Bluffton moved to 14-20 and 7-15 in the Heartland Conference, while Hanover stands 17-17 with an 8-14 mark in the HCAC.
A one-out Hanover homer by Dunn helped the home team to a 2-0 lead after three innings in game one.
Sophomore Colin Gregory (Fremont/Clyde) cut the deficit in half with his solo shot to left in the top of the sixth, but the Panthers added an insurance run in the bottom of the ninth for a 3-1 victory in the opening game of the series.
Gregory went 2-of-4 with the homer. Senior Dyson Bowman (Coshocton) fired 11 strikeouts against just two walks but fell to 3-5 on the season following the 3-1 setback. He allowed three runs on nine hits in eight innings of work. Bowman pushed his school record strikeout total to 77 for the season and he pulled within three strikeouts of Mike Bruns (187) for #2 on the career K's list!
The Beavers opened up game two with a hot start. A six-run second inning has key as Bluffton took a 7-5 victory to close out the pair of games on Friday.
The visitors got on the board in the top of the first after an RBI single by Luke Hickey (Toledo/Whitmer) scored Luke Kail (Waynesfield/Sandy Valley) putting the Beavers up 1-0. Hanover answered with a run of its own in the bottom of the inning.
The second inning rally started with an RBI single by Chase Lawniczak (Toledo/Whitmer). A Luke Kail base knock drove in two more runs for Bluffton. Luke Hickey answered again for the Beavers with a two-run single to center field. The visitors tacked on a final run in the inning thanks to a throwing error by the Panthers.
Trailing 7-1, the home team would score a run in the bottom of the second and two more in the third to pull within three. Hanover scored another run in the seventh, the Beavers worked around runners at second and third in the bottom of the ninth to secure a split on Friday.
Leading the offensive charge for Bluffton was freshman Luke Kail as he went 3-for-5, scoring twice and driving in two RBI. Luke Hickey and Ryan Golden (Findlay) each chipped in with two hits and a run scored.
Jaylen Von Sossan (Ottawa/Ottawa-Glandorf) continued his outstanding senior campaign, improving to 4-2 on the season. He gave up five runs on 10 hits with two strikeouts and two walks. Dante D’Andrea (Westerville/North) notched his first save of the year as he allowed only one hit while fanning five batters over the final 2.2 shutout frames.
Bluffton will look for its second series victory in as many weekends when the Beavers meet Hanover for game three on Saturday, April 29. The first pitch is slated for 12 p.m.