By: Brandy Bidlack, sports information assistant
March 17, 2009
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University baseball team faced the #3 Division III baseball team in the country, Heidelberg University, and fans at Memorial Stadium witnessed a 29-20 offensive outburst that the Student Princes pulled out by scoring seven runs in each of the last two innings on Tuesday, March 17. With the loss, the Beavers dropped to 5-7 while the Student Princes improved to 11-2 on the 2009 season.
Heidelberg came out strong as the Student Princes scored eight runs in the first inning. The Beavers responded with two runs of their own as Corey Conn (London) raced home. Cody McPherson (Northwood/Millbury Lake) then crossed the plate off a Tyler Stephenson (Springfield/Northwestern) single up the middle.
Both teams tallied one run in the second inning, two runs in the third inning, none in the fourth, and one run apiece in the fifth inning. After Heidelberg upped their score with three more in the top of the sixth, the Bluffton bats exploded as the Beavers tied the score at 15. McPherson doubled to right center and scored when Stephenson singled up the middle once again. A Curtis Schroeder (Shelby) rip landed him on second and he advanced to third on a wild pitch.
Greg Bergstedt (Napoleon/Patrick Henry) singled through the right side, giving Schroeder the green light to go home. Two consecutive walks and one run later, Conn found a gap in the right side that allowed both Brett Howard (Toledo/St. Francis DeSales) and Bergstedt to cross the plate. After reaching on a fielder's choice, McPherson was able to cross the plate yet again for the Beavers. Stephen Torres (Lima/Juan Diego) finished the nine runs accumulated in the sixth inning on a total of eight hits.
Bluffton never got the chance to tie Heidelberg again as the Student Princes produced 14 runs in the next two innings. The Beavers added five more runs to bring the deficit to within two, but Heidelberg was just too much. In the seventh inning, Bluffton matched their hits with their runs, starting off with a single by freshman outfielder Nick Broyles (Toledo/Whitmer) through the right side. After a Bergstedt double, Mike Ramthun (Springfield/Southeastern) collected an RBI from his base knock to left field. A failed pickoff attempt allowed Bergstedt to cross the plate and Ramthun to advance to second. Torres added two RBI off of his double before touching home when Stephenson singled to left field.
James Hausman (Milford) started off the game but was soon replaced after giving up seven hits and eight runs before Adrian Fritch (Edon) came on with just one out in the first frame. The Student Princes forced four walks, four runs, and three hits off of Fritch before three other Beavers took their turns on the mound. The Beaver defense committed a staggering nine errors in the contest while Heidelberg booted three.
Tyler Stephenson went 5-for-6 and scored twice for the Beavers. Stephen Torres produced four hits in six at-bats and crossed the plate three times. Both Cody McPherson and Nick Broyles scored four times each for the Beavers in their 29-20 loss to the Student Princes.
The Bluffton University baseball team will return to action on Friday, March 20, when the Beavers travel to Hanover for their first Heartland Conference series of the 2009 season. The game is slated for 4 p.m.