Ninth-Inning Rally Ends Short for DC Against Bluffton
DEFIANCE, Ohio – Defiance and Bluffton locked up for an old-fashioned pitcher’s duel on Tuesday at Rutter Field, with the Beavers holding off a ninth-inning rally from DC to scrape out the 2-1 victory.
DC faced a 2-0 deficit heading into the bottom of the ninth inning after threatening multiple times throughout the game but failing to get a key hit. Entering the ninth inning, the Jackets had been 0-7 with runners in scoring position and had stranded seven runners.
Defiance finally cracked the scoring column in the ninth however, as Alex Timofeev reached first base with one out after being hit by the Adrian Fritch offering. Braden Brugler then smoked a double into the left-field corner to score DC’s first run of the afternoon.
The double ended Fritch’s strong outing, as the Beavers summoned Tyler Stephenson to try to stop the Yellow Jacket surge. Stephenson was immediately greeted with a single to center off the bat of Casey Kahsen, which put the potential winning run on base for Defiance.
The rally would end there however, as Stephenson settled in to retire the next two batters and preserve the 2-1 Bluffton victory for his second save of the season.
Each starting pitcher turned in a gem, pelting the strike zone and taking advantage of a strong wind blowing in from center field. Brad Timofeev (1-3) took the hard-luck loss, despite going the distance and allowing just six hits and two runs. Fritch (1-1) went 8.1 innings for the win and limited the DC sticks to six hits, while striking out five.
Brugler, Kahsen and Kirk Jesse each had two-hit games to net six of Defiance’s seven hits on the day and Brugler had the team’s only RBI.
Defiance (4-12, 1-3 HCAC) will be back on the diamond on Wednesday, when it hosts Trine (3-7) in a non-conference tilt at 4:00 pm.