By: Joseph Watkins, sports information assistant
FORT MYERS, Fla - The Bluffton University baseball team dropped a pair of games to FDU-Florham (14-9 and 10-3) on their final day in the Sunshine State on Saturday, March 9. Bluffton fell to 5-6 on the season, while Florham improved to 2-1.
Florham would jump out to an early 5-0 in the first inning of game one. But the Beavers would respond in the bottom half of the first. Reid Ruhl (Hamilton) would get things started when he was hit by a pitch. Colin Gregory (Fremont/Clyde) followed with a double, advancing Ruhl to third and putting the Beavers in scoring position. A Jacob Latkofsky (Temperance, MI/Ida) double scored both Ruhl and Gregory, making the score 5-2. Latkofsky crossed the dish on a double steal, allowing the Beavers to get back into striking distance with a 5-3 score after one.
Bluffton would not have another huge inning like the first until the bottom half of the sixth when they tallied four runs on five hits. Ruhl would start things off for the Beavers with two outs when he singled to left field. Gregory followed suit with a single of his own. A Latkofsky base knock plated Ruhl and moved Gregory into scoring position. Junior Parker Reynolds (Avon) doubled home Gregory before Cale Sherbourne (Johnstown/Big Walnut) single picked up Latkofsky. Reynolds would then score on a wild pitch, making it 12-9 FDU.
Florham added on two insurance runs in the seventh and sealed up a 14-9 victory in the lidlifter.
Gregory went 3-of-4 with a double, a homer and three runs scored. Latkofsky was 2-for-3 with three RBI and two runs scored. Ruhl finished with two hits and he scored twice. Sophomore Garrett O'Reilly (Galena/Orange) allowed eight runs on eight hits in just 1.1 innings, dropping his first decision of the year.
Bluffton would jump out to a 2-0 lead in game two when Latkofsky smacked a 2-run homer to center field. But, the Beaver offense went silent until the top half of the seventh. Bluffton would score one in that inning thanks to a single, a walk and two hit batters. Six runs in the fourth and four more in the fifth was too much for Bluffton to overcome as Florham completed the sweep with a 10-3 victory in game two.
Freshman Zac Nobis (Bryan) fell to 0-2 after allowing six runs, three earned, on four hits in three innings of relief. He fanned four and walked three. Ruhl stole three bases and rapped two hits, while Latkofsky drove in all three runs for the Beavers.
The Beavers are right back at it on Tuesday, March 12, when they travel to Ohio Northern to take on the Polar Bears at 4 p.m.