Baseball uses two big innings to beat area-rival Bluffton 7-3

By Steven Wright

ADA - The Ohio Northern baseball team used a three-run second inning and a four-run third inning to defeat area-rival Bluffton 7-3 Thursday evening at Wander Field.

ONU is now 14-18 on the year, while the Beavers fall to 10-20.

Senior Brian Hill threw a complete game to pick up the win and improve to 5-5 on the season. Bluffton starter Jesse Brown took the loss and falls to 0-1.

Junior Loren Fleischman was 2-for-4 with a homer, three RBIs and two runs scored to lead the ONU attack.

Junior Brett Katana and freshman Mark Hayes were also solid at the place, each collecting three hits on the day.

After a scoreless first inning, freshman first baseman Matt Hampshire got ONU on the board with a solo blast over the left field fence to lead off the second.

Fleischman singled a batter later before sophomore Mike Hoelzel doubled to knock him in from first base. Hoelzel advanced to third base on the throw from the left fielder.

Two batters later, freshman Justin Good hit a deep sacrifice fly to the warning track in left field to bring home Hoelzel.

The first four Polar Bears to come to the plate in the third also scored, allowing ONU to take a 7-0 lead.

Junior Matt Rader led off the inning with a drive to deep center field that wound up as a double. The base hit extends Rader's hit streak to eight games.

Katana then hit a ball to nearly the same place that reached the fence. Rader came around to score on the play, as Katana legged out a triple.

Hampshire walked to put runners on the corners before Fleischman hit a three-run homer to left field.

Bluffton did muster three runs, but ONU was too much in victory.

The Polar Bears will travel to Muskingum on Saturday at 1 pm for a doubleheader.