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November 27, 2021

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Baseball: Beavers shutout Anderson 5-0

The Bluffton University baseball team moved to 12-16 with a convincing 5-0 shutout of Anderson University on a chilly Thursday, April 22, 2021, just one day after Mother Nature dropped five inches of the white stuff on Memorial Field. Anderson fell to 15-11 overall and in the HCAC .

Head Coach James Grandey had all of his pitching lined up for a Thursday afternoon of Johnny Wholestaff when junior Eddie Budinski (Louisville) said 'Not so fast,' and threw a monkey wrench in the plan. After a shutout first by starter Jacob Boelkens (Millbury/Lake), Budinski came charging out of the bullpen to take his turn on the hill. Five innings and 10 strikeouts later, the Beavers were on their way to a one-hit shutout of the visiting Ravens, a team that blasted its way to 29 runs in a sweep of the Beavers back in March!

Bluffton cracked the scoreboard with a pair of runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. Jeff Strayer (Columbus/Thomas Worthington) laced a two-out double and he came around to score when Adam Duncan (Northwood/Lake) smacked an RBI single. Freshman Kenny Schneider (Sunbury/Big Walnut) followed with a run-scoring base knock that picked up Duncan for a 2-0 lead.

Three straight singles by Duncan, Schneider and Jaxon Rogan (Marysville) made it 3-0 in the sixth before a pair of well-executed sacrifice bunts by Jack Towell (Batavia/West Clermont) and Jake Baumgartner (Toledo/Start) plated Jacob Latkofsky (Temperance, Mich./Ida) for a 4-0 spread an inning later. Rogan trotted home following a Raven error in the eighth as the Beavers capped off the one-hitter with a 5-0 victory.

Budinski (1-1) had a career day with 10 punchouts and just two walks in five innings of work. He did not allow a hit while tossing 84 pitches in relief. Josh Slade (Cincinnati/Madeira) tossed a one-hit seventh and Wayne Frey (Kirby/Riverdale) made the most of his first work this season, putting up two scoreless frames with a pair of strikeouts to cap off the shutout.

Latkofsky went 3-of-5, while Duncan, Schneider and Rogan chipped in with two hits apiece. Duncan scored twice for the victors, powered up by the hot apple cider on tap at Memorial Field.

Bluffton will have a quick turnaround as the head to Terre Haute, Ind., on Friday morning for a twin-bill at Rose-Hulman. Game one is slated to go off at 4 p.m. before the Beavers return to Memorial Field for two more games with the Ravens on Sunday afternoon.