Wittenberg Baseball came up short this Sunday in a twin bill against the Bluffton University Beavers.
In game one, the Tigers held a 5-4 lead for the majority of the game due to freshman Tanner Griggs’ dominant start on the mound, striking out seven and only giving up one earned run of the four that he surrendered in seven and two-thirds innings pitched.
Wittenberg’s offense was lead by junior Matt Baker, sophomore Ryan Probst and freshmen Hayden Knox and Gabe Stacey. Coupled with superb defense from freshmen infielder David Hamrick and catcher Jack Hollinshead,
Wittenberg entered the ninth inning with the lead until Bluffton’s offense exploded for three runs to put them ahead 7-5. This deficit was too much for the Tigers as they didn’t challenge in the bottom of the ninth and dropped game one.
Game two was a low scoring, extra-innings bought due to a collective effort from Wittenberg’s pitching staff. Junior Jace Barga, sophomore Adam Mays, senior Andrew Goodpaster,and freshmen Michael Martin split 11 innings.
The Tigers’ offense was slowed by Blufton’s solid starting pitching until the 7th inning when Baker tripled to drive in freshmen Jordan Jolly and Gage Carpenter. Senior captain Tim Bates led off the 8th inning with a ground rule double and was later driven in by a Probst two-run home run (first of career) to tie the game at 4-4.
Both teams were presented chances to win the game in extras, but Bluffton succeeded to knock in a run late in the top of the 11th without any response from Wittenberg’s offense in the bottom half.
The Wittenberg Baseball team moves to 4-13 on the season with six one-run losses on its resume. The Tigers will open up NCAC conference play at Carleton Davidson Stadium against Denison this Saturday.