SCORE: G1- Earlham 8, Bluffton 3 / G2- Bluffton 9, Earlham 7
LOCATION: Bluffton, Ohio (Memorial Field)
RECORDS: Earlham 9-12, 1-3 HCAC / Bluffton 11-11, 2-2 HCAC
THE SHORT STORY: Earlham College baseball plated eight runs over the final four innings to rally for an 8-3 victory over Bluffton University, in game one of the teams' Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference doubleheader at Memorial Field. The Quakers posted an early lead in game two, but could not hang on for the sweep and dropped a 9-7 decision to the Beavers to take a split out of the day.
GAME 1 - HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Earlham tied things up at 3-3 in the sixth inning, on an RBI double by Danny Dopp followed by base hits from Brian Pincura and Cameron Wissel that each plated additional runs.
- A two-run seventh inning allowed the Quakers to take a 5-3 lead, taking advantage of back-to-back singles by Zach Swearingen and Marc Gendreau to open the frame. Swearingen scored on a Bluffton throwing error on Cameron McCabe's grounder to third, and Gendreau crossed on Dopp's sacrifice fly to left field.
- The Quakers put the game away with three unearned runs in the ninth. Pincura's bases loaded fly ball to center field with two outs was dropped, and all three Earlham baserunners scored for three insurance runs.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- Joey Gerbus fanned six Bluffton batters over six complete innings of work, while scattering three earned runs on seven hits on his way to the win. Domanick Michael came on in the seventh and pitched three scoreless innings with two strikeouts to get the save.
- Gendreau, Wissel, Swearingen, and Austin Hatfield each had two hits, with Gendreau finishing with three runs scored. Dopp had two RBI in game one.
GAME 2 - HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Earlham plated two runs in the first and two more in the fourth to take a 4-0 lead midway through the fourth inning, before Bluffton knotted the game at 4-4 in the bottom of the frame. A two-run double by Adam Duncan keyed the Beaver half of the fourth inning.
- Colin Gregory's two-run belt in the fifth inning put Bluffton up 6-4.
- Earlham manufactured two runs in the top of the seventh on a Dopp double, two HBP, a sac fly, and a fielder's choice grounder, briefly tying the game at 6-6, but Bluffton created two runs of their own in the bottom half of the seventh on two walks, two HBP, a wild pitch, and a passed ball.
- Each team tacked on an unearned run in the eighth, moving the score to 9-7 in Bluffton's favor. The Quakers got the leadoff batter aboard in the top of the ninth, but a pair of foul outs to catcher and first base, as well as a fielder's choice grounder to second, was enough to get the Beavers safely out of the inning.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- Five different Earlham pitchers saw action in game two, with Kyle Gorman getting the start and lasting three-and-a-third innings on the hill. He charted four strikeouts, but yielded four earned runs on the five hits. Louis Lipthratt pitched just one-third of an inning, but was responsible for putting two Bluffton batters aboard to start the seventh that scored the go-ahead runs and was charged with the loss. The Earlham pitchers combined for 10 strikeouts on the night.
- Gendreau, Dopp, Pincura, and Andrew McFadden each had two hits for the Quakers.
Earlham continues its HCAC schedule on Saturday, April 6, when it travels to Hanover, Ind., to face Hanover College in a conference doubleheader. Game one of the twinbill will begin at 12:00 p.m.