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Baseball: Bluffton evens mark at 5-5 in HCAC with series win over Pioneers

By Keisha Holtsberry, sports information assistant

Game 1 stats: http://www.bluffton.edu/sports/baseball/2012/04-07-b1.htm

I Game 2 stats: http://www.bluffton.edu/sports/baseball/2012/04-07-b2.htm

The Bluffton University baseball team split a doubleheader against the Transylvania University Pioneers on Saturday, April 7, 2012, falling short in the first game (11-2) before bouncing back with an offensive outburst to take the second, 14-4. Bluffton improved to 12-13 overall and 5-5 in the HCAC, while Transylvania stands at 12-12 (6-5 in the HCAC) on the year. It marked Bluffton's first series win over Transy since 2008.

In the first matchup, the Pioneers jumped ahead early, scoring six runs in the first inning thanks to four walks, a hit batter and four wild pitches. Bluffton made it 6-1 after one when Tyler Wright (Troy) singled, sending home Miles Richardson (Granville/Newark Catholic) who had opened with a double to start the inning.

The Beavers only other run of the game came in the bottom of the third when Kyle Niermann (Napoleon) crossed the plate. Niermann started off the inning with a single and Richardson doubled him home to make the score 6-2.

Three errors by the Beavers in the top of the fifth inning allowed the Pioneers to scored five more unearned runs en route to the 11-2 victory. Richardson, who took the loss in game one, and Wright both went 2-of-4 with an RBI apiece.

In the second contest, the Beavers got on the board early with eight runs in the first two innings. Bluffton scored three runs in the first off excellent hitting by the top of the Beaver lineup, including doubles by Niermann and Tyler Stephenson (Springfield/Northwestern) and RBI singles from Richardson and Nick Broyles (Toledo/Whitmer). In the second inning the Beavers scored five runs, three of which came on a homer by Tim Webb (Delaware/Worthington Christian).

In the bottom of the fourth inning the Beavers added two more runs to extend their lead to 10-0. Broyles tripled home Tyler Wright before a sacrifice fly by Matt McKinney (Columbus Grove/Bath) put the lead in double digits.

The Pioneers put two runs on the board in the top of the fifth and one in each the sixth and seventh innings, but it was too little, too late as the home team finished off the Pioneers with two runs in both the seventh and eighth innings.

Barnes earned his third victory of the season in the second game. He went six strong innings, giving up eight hits and three runs with three walks and two K's. Leading a Beaver lineup that piled up 14 runs on 17 hits, Rchardson was a perfect 5-of-5 with four RBI and two runs scored. Nick Broyles also notched four hits and two RBI. Webb added four RBI on a 2-of-5 game with two runs scored. Niermann chipped in with two hits and Wright scored twice.

Bluffton will welcome Earlham College to Memorial Field on Tuesday, April 10. The Heartland Conference contest is slated for 4:15 p.m.