May 7, 2016
By: Ryan Schadewald, sports information assistant
LEXINGTON, Ky. - The Bluffton University Beavers wrapped up their 2016 campaign by splitting a double-dipper with the Transylvania University Pioneers on Saturday, May 7. The Beavers won the opening game, 7-6, before they fell, 10-2, in the nightcap. Bluffton finished the season at 14-26 with a 9-18 mark in the HCAC, while Transy heads to the HCAC tournament at 21-17 overall and 17-9 in the conference.
The visitors started the scoring in the third as Clayton Siders (Delaware/Worthington Christian) doubled in Brandon Marable (Columbus/Hamilton Township) to put the Beavers up 1-0 through three frames.
A lead-off single by Colin Gregory (Fremont/Clyde) in the fourth was followed by a double from Tanner Hamilton (Centerville) to put two on base. Blake Fox (Berne, Ind./South Adams) singled in Gregory to put the Beavers up, 2-0. Two batters later, Luke Hickey (Toledo/Whitmer) added two more with a base knock to right, putting the visitors up 4-0.
The Pioneers would get one run in the fifth and two more in the sixth, trimming its deficit to 4-3. The Beavers and Pioneers each scored two in the seventh and the Beavers were hanging onto a 6-5 lead. The Pioneers added another in the eighth to tie it at 6-6.
In the top of the night, Siders drew a walk to lead off the inning, stole second base and moved to third on a wild pitch. With one out, Prosser grounded out to the shortstop, driving in the game-winning run as Siders crossed the plate.
Corey Johnson (Waverly) finished with another quality start of six innings on the bump, giving up three runs on five hits while striking out five. Kevin Every (Zanesville/West Muskingum) gave up two runs in his inning, while Taylor Gambrell (Bowling Green) improved to 2-2 after pitching the eighth. Travis Clark (Lima/Central Catholic) picked up his sixth save despite giving up three ninth-inning walks.
The Beavers finished the contest with 12 base knocks, including Clayton Siders and his 2-for-3 effort that included two walks and the game-winning run in the ninth. Jason Colliver (Beavercreek), Colin Gregory, and Tanner Hamilton also added two hits apiece, while Luke Hickey and Austin Prosser (Galion) finished with two RBI.
Transylvania hurler Trevor Simpson shut the Beavers down in game two, finishing with 10 strikeouts in six innings and helping the Pioneers to the 10-2 win.
The Beavers got in the scoring column early when Colin Gregory singled home Siders to put Bluffton up 1-0. However, the Pioneers turned it around with four in the home half.
In the top of the fourth, Alex Nibert (Arlington, Va./Yorktown) bombed one over the fence for his first career home run in the final game of his Bluffton baseball career, pulling Bluffton within 5-2.
But that's all the scoring Bluffton could manage as Transy would three more in the fourth and two in the eighth for a 10-2 victory.
Freshman Brantley Curnutte (Hilliard/Davidson) gave up the five runs in the opening inning to take the loss. Fellow first-year Beaver Raymond Richard (Taylor, Mich./John F. Kennedy) tossed two shutout innings before Jaylen Von Sossan (Ottawa/Ottawa-Glandorf) suffered through five runs in 4.1 innings of work. Austin Every (Zanesville/West Muskingum) finished with a scoreless final two-thirds of an inning.
The Beavers would garner just five hits in the loss, with Nibert's home run and a Luke Hickey double being the only extra base hits for Bluffton.
With 2016 in the books, Bluffton will now await the Heartland Conference post-season awards scheduled for release on Tuesday, May 17.