May 10, 2018
FRANKLIN, Ind. - The Bluffton University baseball team lost its first-ever Heartland Conference tournament game but it made its fans proud in an 8-5 loss to Manchester University on May 10, 2018. Bluffton stands 21-17 overall and the Beavers will face Anderson at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, May 11.
With Manchester leading 1-0, junior Colin Gregory (Fremont/Clyde) drove a 3-2 Spartan offering over the fence in left field for Bluffton's first-ever HCAC tournament run!
Bluffton trailed 3-1 after Manchester plated a pair of runs in the fourth before three Beaver scores in the top of the fifth made the score 4-3. Adam Duncan (Northwood/Lake) singled home Reid Maus (Hamilton/Badin) who led off the frame with a double to left center. Chase Lawniczak (Toledo/Whitmer) knotted the game with his sacrifice fly to left and a Jacob Latkofsky (Temperance, Mich./Ida) base knock drove in Colin Gregory for a 4-3 lead.
Singles by Lenny Winiarski (Cincinnati/LaSalle), Garrett O'Reilly (Galena/Orange) and Adam Duncan added up to a 5-3 Bluffton lead in the sixth inning. Manchester responded with a pair of tallies in the home half, however, making it 5-5 as the teams got ready for the stretch run.
A leadoff double for Manchester in the bottom of the eighth set the stage for a big inning when Bluffton threw consecutive sacrifice bunt attempts down the right field line. The Spartans led 8-5 when the dust settled and Bluffton went down without a whimper in the ninth as Manchester stayed in the winners bracket with the 8-5 victory.
Maus went 3-of-4 at the dish and reached on an error. Duncan, Winiarski and Gregory all chipped in with two hits apiece. Gregory scored twice and Duncan drove in a pair of runs.
Sophomore Tommy Siemer (Liberty Township/Lakota East) battled through five innings, giving up three runs, two earned, on six hits in five innings of work. He walked two and struck out five on 87 pitches. Junior Dante D'Andrea (Westerville/North) took the loss, falling to 6-4 after surrendering five runs, two earned, on four hits in three innings of relief. D'Andrea struck out three and walked one.
Bluffton is back in action on Friday, May 11, when the Beavers take on Anderson. The first pitch is slated for 9:30 a.m. at McDowell Field on the campus of Franklin College.