By: Joseph Watkins, sports information assistant
LEXINGTON, Ky. - The Bluffton University baseball team wrapped up its 2019 season with a split at Transylvania University on Sunday, May 5. Transy took game one by a 10-4 count before the Beavers came back for 7-4 victory in game two. Bluffton finishes its season with an 18-21 mark overall and 7-11 in the Heartland Conference. The Pioneers punched their ticket to the HCAC Tournament with the split.
A four-run first by the home team in game one helped Transylvania to a comfortable 7-0 lead heading into the sixth inning. Lenny Winiarski (Cincinnati/LaSalle) singled home Jacob Latkofsky (Temperence, MI/Ida) in the sixth and Latkofsky delivered with an RBI double that plated Elisha Tressler (Bryan) an inning later.
Transy pushed the lead to 10-2 with a bases-clearing double in the eighth. Bluffton tried to rally when Winiarski ripped a two-run double to right center in the ninth, but the Pioneers closed out game one with the 10-4 victory.
Latkofsky went 3-of-4 with two runs scored, while Winiarski drove in three runs with two hits. Tressler added a pair of safeties.
Junior Tommy Siemer (Liberty Township/Lakota East) finished the season with a 1-3 mark after allowing five runs on six hits in four innings of work. He fanned four in the loss. Brantley Curnutte (Hilliard/Davidson) and senior Jordan Stutzman (Millersburg/West Holmes) both saw action on the hill in game one.
The Beavers came out and totally redeemed themselves in game two with a 7-4 victory. Bluffton dug an early hole again as the Pioneers were up 4-0 after three innings of action. However, the visitors would finally get things going in the top half of the fifth when Jaxon Rogan (Marysville) crossed the dish following a fielder's choice that made the score 4-1.
In the top of the sixth, senior Colin Gregory (Fremont/Clyde) took things into his own hands with a solo shot to left field, cutting the deficit to 4-2. The Beavers would score four more in the sixth thanks to three walks and a hit batter. Alex Lemanski (Miamisburg) also smacked an RBI single in the inning. Bluffton would tack on an insurance run in the eighth on a wild pitch that ultimately sealed the 7-4 victory in the season finale. The 11th long ball by Gregory makes him the all-time leader for home runs in a single season at Bluffton!
Freshman Carson Curnutte (Hilliard/Davidson) got the start in game two, going four innings and giving up four runs on five hits. Senior Dante D'Andrea (Westerville/North) secured the win (6-3) thanks to his three innings of relief. D'Andrea allowed just two hits and fanned three. Jack Bondy (Avon) nailed down the save with two shutout innings, giving up three hits and striking out two in the victory. Rogan finished game two with two RBI.
With the 2019 season in the books, the Beavers will now look forward to the Heartland Conference post-season awards which are slated to be announced on Tuesday, May 14. Check the Bluffton Athletics Website for that release as well as the updated record books during the next week.