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Last out: Bluffton baseball splits with MSJ

The Bluffton University baseball team needed a sweep vs Mount St. Joseph--and some help--to get into the Heartland Conference tournament. Anderson took care of the help with a split against Transylvania, but the Beavers came up one win shy as they split with MSJ in the regular-season finale on Senior Day.

Bluffton ended the year with a 17-22 mark overall and 9-9 in the Heartland Conference, while MSJ moved to 15-23 and 6-12 in the HCAC.

The Lions scored two runs in the second inning of game one and that was more than enough as MSJ held Bluffton scoreless in a 6-0 shutout. Jacob Hughes was nearly unhittable, allowing just two safeties while striking out nine Beavers with two walks.

Jake Baumgartner (Toledo/Start) and Adam Yoh (Milford) had the two hits in game one. Senior Carson Curnutte (Hilliard/Hilliard Davidson) fell to 2-6 on the season after allowing three runs on 13 hits in six innings of work as the Lions pounded out 18 hits in the opener. 

Following a senior day ceremony prior to game two, Bluffton jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the second. A bases-loaded walk to Ezra Deitering (Ottawa/Miller City) put the home team on the scoreboard and Kenny Schneider (Sunbury/Big Walnut) followed with a two-run single.

A dropped fly in the fifth made it 4-0 when Schneider scurried home. The bottom of the seventh proved to be crucial for the Beavers despite Bluffton smacking just one hit. Two walks and three hit batters added up to four runs and an 8-0 lead. When the Mount saddled up with five runs on five hits in the top of the eighth, those four tallies a frame earlier looked real good!

Bluffton closed it out with five seniors on the hill as every senior saw action on Mother's Day! Sam Meek (Hope, IN/Hauser), Jacob Daulton (Batavia), Wayne Frey (Kirby/Riverdale) and Seth Evans (Ada/OSU-Lima) all recorded an out to send the Beavers to victory in their final game. Evans capped it off with his fifth save of the season.

Garrett O'Reilly (Galena/Orange) improved to 4-2 after tossing six shutout innings. He allowed just three hits and struck out four Lions. Jacob Boelkens (Millbury/Lake) tossed a shutout seventh for the victors.

Schneider went 2-of-3 with two runs scored and two RBI. Nathaniel DeWeese (Columbus/Hilliard Davidson) scored twice in game two.

With the 2022 Bluffton baseball season complete, next comes the Heartland Conference awards which are slated to be announced late this week.

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