Bluffton notches split at Manchester
April 11, 2018
By: Colton Steiner, sports information assistant
NORTH MANCHESTER, Ind. - The Bluffton University baseball squad took to the road to face off against the Manchester University Spartans in a Wednesday afternoon doubleheader. After taking a 7-2 lead in the first game, the Beavers surrendered nine straight tallies as Manchester completed the comeback for an 11-8 victory. The second game of the day would be a different story as the Beavers walked away with a 6-2 victory. The split puts Bluffton at 15-10 overall and 4-4 in conference play.
Bluffton jumped on the board in the top of the first when JON DOERING (Constantine, Mich.) smacked a doubled to center to score a pair of runs for a 2-0 lead. The Spartans answered in the bottom of the inning with a sacrifice fly and a RBI single as they evened up the game 2-2.
A sacrifice fly in the top of the second by BRYCE FINK (Medina) scored REID MAUS (Hamilton/Badin) and gave Bluffton a 3-2 advantage. The visiting Beavers weren't finished as CHASE LAWNICZAK (Toledo/Whitmer) and Reid Maus drove in runs, making it a 5-2 ballgame in the top of the third. ADAM DUNCAN (Northwood/Lake) added to the offense with a run-scoring single that plated Jon Doering for a 6-2 lead.
Bluffton continued its scoring outburst in the fourth after RYAN GOLDEN (Findlay) clobbered a solo home run to center, giving the Beavers a 7-2 advantage. The home team was able to score in the bottom of the fifth after a Bluffton error made it 7-3. Manchester added four more runs in the inning to tie the game up at 7-7 heading to the sixth.
The home team made it 10-7 after six following a two-run triple and a sac fly. Despite trailing 11-7 going to the ninth, Ryan Golden connected on his second dinger of the day which cut the deficit to 11-8 before Manchester slammed the door for the game one victory.
Bluffton notched 12 hits in the contest, led by Ryan Golden who went 3-for-5 with two bombs which doubled his season output. Also doing damage at the plate was JACOB LATKOFSKY (Temperance, Mich./Ida), who smacked three hits in the game with a pair of runs. Adam Duncan added two safeties for the Beavers in his four at-bats.
JEFF ARNETT (Tecumseh, Mich/Tecumseh) took his first loss on the hill (0-1) after 1.2 innings of work. Netting 49 pitches for the day, the junior allowed four runs on three hits while walking four batters with a strikeout. MIKE AMAN (Dublin/Coffman) and PAUL FREY (Kirby/Riverdale) both recorded two strikeouts for the visitors.
The Beavers got right back to work in game two as Ryan Golden continued hot streak at the plate, connecting on a 2-run shot to right for a 2-0 lead in the first. They added another run in the top of the second thanks to an RBI single by PARKER REYNOLDS (Avon).
Manchester scored in the bottom of the third to cut Bluffton’s lead to 3-1. After another run by the Spartans in the fifth, Jon Doering went yard an inning later to give the Beavers a 4-2 lead. Bluffton did more damage in the inning as Adam Duncan smoked an RBI double to left and ALEX LEMANSKI (Miamisburg) laced a run-scoring single for a four-run advantage. The Beavers were able to hold Manchester scoreless over the last four innings as they marched to a 6-2 victory.
Bluffton made hay at the plate, connecting on 16 hits, while the Spartans finished with nine in game two. Sophomore Chase Lawniczak led the charge, going a perfect 3-for-3 with a walk and two runs scored. Also smacking three hits was COLIN GREGORY (Fremont/Clyde), while Jon Doering, Parker Reynolds and Adam Duncan tallied two hits apiece.
Starting the day on the mound was HUNTER MILLS (Etna/Watkins Memorial) who was superb in his 4.0 innings, allowing no earned runs and only three hits. Mills would fan two batters while walking one. Sophomore COLBY CLIFTON (Ohio City/Crestview) fired three strikeouts in his 2.0 innings of work on the hill.
Bluffton will be back in action on Friday, April 13, at 1 p.m. when the Beavers travel to face the Mount St. Joseph Lions for a Heartland Conference doubleheader.