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John Carroll scores four in the ninth for 5-1 victory

By: Brandy Bidlack, sports information assistant
March 3, 2009

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. - The Bluffton University baseball team lost to John Carroll in the first game of the Snowbird Classic on Tuesday, March 3, 2009, by a final score of 5-1. The Beavers dropped to 3-2 and John Carroll improved to 2-1.

Bluffton's Mike Ramthun (Springfield/Southeastern) reached first on a walk and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt from freshman Aaron Koonce (Toledo/Start) before a balk by JC pitcher Tom Schaberl sent him to third. Ramthun scored on the next play when freshman third baseman Tyler Stephenson (Springfield/Northwestern) singled through the right side, making it 1-0 in the home half of the first.

The Beavers held onto their 1-0 lead over the Blue Streaks until a Tom Hickey run tied the game in the top of the seventh inning. Two frames and three pitchers later, John Carroll blew it open with four runs thanks to three hits and two Bluffton errors, giving the Blue Streaks a 5-1 win over the Beavers.

Adrian Fritch (Edon) allowed only three hits and finished with four strikeouts in seven superb innings on the hill. Relief pitchers Nathan Blanton (Cincinnati/LaSalle) and Kelly Barnes (Toledo/Toledo Christian) gave up two and three hits, respectively, while Barnes picked up two strikeouts in his first collegiate performance. Cody McPherson (Northwood/Millbury Lake), Stephenson, and David Riddle (Loveland/Milford) all had hits in the disappointing setback.

The Bluffton baseball team will return to action on Wednesday, March 4, when the Beavers face another OAC heavyweight, Heidelberg, in Port Charlotte. The JV game is scheduled to start after the completion of the varsity game.