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Beavers rally for 9-6 win over ONU

ADA--The Bluffton University baseball team took advantage of a beautiful Thursday afternoon, making the short trip to Ohio Northern and coming away with a 9-6 win over the 12-7 Polar Bears. Bluffton improved to 8-7 on the season.

ONU scored a run in the first, two of the unearned variety in the third and added a sacrifice fly in the fifth on the way to a 4-0 lead heading to the sixth, but that's when the fun started. Senior Nick Diana (Batavia/West Clermont) cut the deficit in half when his two-bagger to left center drove home Justin Maurer (Springfield/Kenton Ridge) and Jack Towell (Batavia West Clermont). One out later, Diana and Ezra Deitering (Ottawa/Miller City) crossed the dish thanks to a Polar Bear error as the visitors knotted the score up at 4-4 with Evan Houseman (Springfield/Kenton Ridge) at the plate.

ONU led off the home sixth with a Nate Webb homer and had the bases juiced with just one out, but freshman Jordan Fent (Springfield/Kenton Ridge) came on and got a strikeout and flyout to end the frame.


Towell answered with his game-tying bomb in the seventh and the Beavers made it 6-5 with an RBI single to right from Ayden Spriggs (North Lewisburg/Triad).

The floodgates opened an inning later when a wild pitch allowed Grant Hovest (Ottawa/Ottawa-Glandorf) to cross the dish. An RBI fielder's choice for Diana plated Jake Baumgartner (Toledo/Start) and Towell scored courtesy of another ONU miscue, putting the Beavers up 9-5.

Ohio Northern loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, but Darius Boeke (Sidney) came on and nailed down out number three for his second save of the season and a 9-6 Bluffton victory.

Towell went 3-for-4 with three runs scored. Spriggs and Baumgartner added two safeties apiece. Maurer scored twice, while Diana drove in three runs.

Sophomore Nathan Young (Copley) turned in an outstanding first collegiate start, going five innings and allowing four runs, but just two earned, on three hits with five strikeouts. Fent picked up the win, also turning in a superb performance. He fanned five and gave up just one run in 3.1 innings on the hill. Boeke got the last out for save number two of the season.

Bluffton will be back in action on Saturday, April 1, when the Beavers head to rival Defiance College for the first of three games against the Yellow Jackets. Game one is slated to start at noon.