The fifth-seeded Anderson University baseball team advanced to the Saturday round of the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) Tournament with two wins on Friday at Kokomo Municipal Stadium in Kokomo.
Anderson (25-18) took down third-seeded Bluffton University (22-18) by a score of 8-5. The Ravens then battled past fourth-seeded Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology (23-21) by a score of 6-3.
GAME 1: ANDERSON 8, BLUFFTON 5
In the top of the first inning, Justin Maurer drove in Nick Diana on a sacrifice fly to give Bluffton a 1-0 lead.
Trey Dorton drove in Justin Reed on a groundout to even the score at 1-1 in the second.
Bluffton took a 4-1 lead in the third when Kenny Schneider ripped a three-run double.
Dorton singled in a run in the fourth.
Diana contributed an RBI single in the sixth to give Bluffton a 5-2 lead.
The Ravens cut the lead to 5-4 in the seventh. Luke Renard belted an RBI triple. He scored in the same inning on a balk.
During the eighth, Charlie Jones led off the inning with a single. With one out, Jones advanced to second on a balk and advanced to third on a wild pitch. In a play that changed the momentum of the game, Reed reached on a fielder's choice. Bluffton attempted to throw out Jones at home on the play, but Jones beat out the bang-bang play to tie the game at 5-5. Reed advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt. With two outs, Dorton singled in a run. Rene Casas Jr. followed up with an RBI triple. Renard rounded out Anderson's scoring for the inning, by singling in a run to give Anderson an 8-5 lead.
Dorton went 3-for-4 with three RBI's and two runs. Jones finished 3-for-4 at the plate with two runs. Renard went 2-for-4 with a triple and two RBI's. Reed finished 2-for-4 with a double, an RBI and two runs. Casas Jr. rounded out Anderson's 11 hits with an RBI triple. Connor Gordon also drew two walks.
Jack Towell went 3-for-5 for the Beavers. Schneider smacked a three-run double. Diana went 2-for-4 with an RBI. Jake Bumgartner, Carson Kindred and Ezra Deitering round out Bluffton's nine hits with singles.
Carter Knoblauch (4-3) picked up the win with three scoreless innings. He struck out two batters, issued zero walks and gave up one hit. Justin Schassburger punched out five batters, yielded two walks and conceded five runs on eight hits in six innings.
Nathan Young (2-1) suffered the loss. He stuck out one batter, issued zero walks allowed four runs on four hits in two-thirds of an inning. Jake Shaver retired the only batter he faced. Wyatt Groves fanned two batters, yielded two walks and gave up four runs on seven hits in seven innings.
GAME 2: ANDERSON 6, ROSE-HULMAN 3
Andy Krajecki ripped a run-scoring double in the bottom of the first for the Fightin' Engineers. Mason Rasmussen doubled in another run during the same half inning.
Reed connected on a solo blast in the second.
During the third, Rose-Hulman attempted to pick off Gordon off of first and the throw went wild. This allowed Renard to score and Gordon advanced to second on the error as Anderson tied the game at 2-2.
Rasmussen provided an RBI single in the sixth as Rose-Hulman regained the lead 3-2.
During the seventh, Griffin Wolf reached base on a two-base dropped-fly-ball error. Wolf was advanced to third and then later scored after Renard reached on another error.
During the eighth, Gordon led off with a hit by pitch and Jones reached on an error on the next batter. Tyler Smitherman then cracked a two-run single to give Anderson a 5-3 lead. Reed added another single. With one out, Dorton provided another RBI single.
C.J. Williams, whose previous career-high in innings was four, went the distance with a full nine innings and 148 pitches. The sophomore from Pendleton struck out four batters, issued one walk and gave up three runs on 11 hits.
The Fightin' Engineers outhit the Ravens 11-7, but were plagued with four defensive errors.
Smitherman went 2-for-5 with a two-run single. Reed crank a solo homer, going 2-for-5 at the plate. Dorton recorded an RBI single while Gordon and Renard rounded out Anderson's hits with singles.
Rasmussen went 3-for-4 with a double and two RBI's to lead the Fightin' Engineers. Krajecki went 2-for-5 with an RBI double. Peter Rogers went 2-for-3 while Kade Kline finished 2-for-5. Dalton Busboom and Caleb Frakes rounded out Rose-Hulman's hits with singles.
Paul Durell (0-1) suffered the loss. He fanned four batters, issued zero walks and surrendered six runs (two earned) on five hits in seven innings. Jonathan Oliger struck out a batter, yield zero walks and allowed zero runs on two hits in two innings.
The Saturday round of the HCAC Tournament continues as Anderson clashes with second-seeded Transylvania University (24-18) on Saturday at 1 p.m. Top-seeded Franklin College (32-10) takes on the winner at 4:30 p.m.