By: Joseph Watkins, sports information assistant
FORT MYERS, Fla - The Bluffton University baseball team knocked off Thiel 11-8 on Thursday, March 7, in their seventh game of the Gene Cusic Classic. Bluffton improved to 3-4 on the season, while Thiel stands at 2-3.
In the bottom of the first inning a Reid Ruhl (Hamilton) single to center field ignited a big inning for the Beavers. Fellow sophomore Jacob Latkofsky (Temperance, MI/Ida) singled up the middle, plating two for Bluffton and tying the score at 2-2. A Lenny Winiarski (Cincinnati/LaSalle) sacrifice fly picked up Latkofsky to make the score 3-2 after one. Senior Colin Gregory (Fremont/Clyde) pushed the lead to 4-2 with his solo shot in the third.
Bluffton would put up another three-spot on Thiel in the bottom of the fourth. A single to center field by freshman Jeff Strayer (Columbus/Thomas Worthington) would get things started. Jaxon Rogan (Marysville) got his bunt down and Strayer scurried home on a throwing error by Thiel. A Gregory triple to left center plated Ruhl and Rogan for a 7-5 Bluffton lead.
The Beavers would have one more three-run inning that came in bottom of the seventh. Back-to-back hits to open the inning set up Rogan for an RBI on his single down the right side that would score Strayer. Parker Reynolds (Avon) doubled down the left field line, scoring Rogan and Cale Sherbourne (Johnstown/Big Walnut) to cap off the 11-8 Beaver victory.
Gregory went 3-of-4 with a homer, a triple and a double while driving in three runs. Strayer finished 3-of-5 and Rogan was 3-for-3 with one RBI in the victory.
A plethora of Beavers would see the mound on Thursday. Senior Jordan Stutzman (Millersburg/West Holmes) would come out with the win for his first victory of the season. Senior Dante D'Andrea nailed down the save for the Beavers, going two innings while giving up just one hit with two strikeouts. Junior Tommy Siemer () fanned six in his second start of the week. He allowed four runs on five hits in 3.2 innings of work.
Bluffton is back in action on Friday, March 8, when the Beavers take on Baruch in a doubleheader. Game one will start at 3 p.m. and game two will follow at approximately 6 p.m.