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Beavers move to 3-1 with sweep of EMU

By: Brandy Bidlack, sports information assistant
March 2, 2009

SARASOTA, Fla. - The Bluffton University baseball team returned to Sarasota Christian High School for a pair of meetings with Eastern Mennonite University on Monday, March 2, 2009, and the Beavers swept EMU, 9-0 and 3-2. On this day of remembrance of the March 2, 2007 bus accident, the Beavers honored their deceased friends and teammates with two victories. Bluffton moved to 3-1 on the season, while the Royals fell to 4-6-1.

Catcher David Riddle (Loveland/Milford) singled up the middle to bring Tyler Stephenson (Springfield/Northwestern) home in the second inning of the lidlifter. Two frames later, Nick Broyles (Toledo/Whitmer) raced to the plate from second following a rip from senior Allen Slabaugh (Dalton).

The Bluffton bats exploded in the fifth inning when junior Cody McPherson (Northwood/Millbury Lake) doubled to left center. Curtis Schroeder (Shelby) drove an EMU offering into right field before Stephenson picked up McPherson with an RBI base hit. After three consecutive walks and two runs scored, Corey Conn
(London) and Broyles both came around to plate runs. On his second trip to the plate in the inning, McPherson's hit to center sent Mike Ramthun (Springfield/Southeastern) home.

A final run in the seventh inning by Kyle King (Dover) completed the scoring as the Beavers knocked off Eastern Mennonite in the first game of the double header, 9-0. Matt Perkins (Convoy/Crestview) finished the game with three strikeouts while allowing a paltry two hits. Senior relief pitcher Corey Conn had one strikeout in one inning on the hill.

Designated hitter Cody McPherson went 2-for-4 with one run scored. Third baseman Tyler Stephenson had two hits and scored twice for the Beavers, while Nick Broyles also crossed the plate twice. Allen Slabaugh and David Riddle both drove in two runs in the contest.

The Beavers came from behind to sweep Eastern Mennonite in the bottom of the seventh inning. Two singles, a sacrifice bunt and a sacrifice fly brought freshman Greg Bergstedt (Napoleon/Patrick Henry) home to cut the deficit to one, 2-1, in the bottom of the third. After reaching on a throwing error, Brennan Bauman (Milford) moved around the bases with a sacrifice bunt and a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the fourth.

With the score tied at two in the bottom of the seventh inning, Mike Ramthun  singled through the ride side and advanced to second on a passed ball. A collision at third base brought Allen Slabaugh on to pinch run for Ramthun. A McPherson single allowed Slabaugh to score, giving Bluffton its second win of the day, 3-2.

Freshman Ryan Leugers (Botkins) pitched all seven innings and limited the Royals to only two walks and two runs on four hits while firing four strikeouts.

Corey Conn went 2-for-3 and Mike Ramthun was 2-of-4. Cody McPherson added two RBI in the victory.

Bluffton returns to the diamond with a contest against John Carroll at the Snowbird Classic on Tuesday, March 3. It is scheduled to start at 9 a.m.