Baseball opens HCAC play with split versus Bluffton

Earlham pitcher Kyle Gorman

RICHMOND, Ind. – Earlham College baseball opened Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference play with a doubleheader split against Bluffton University on Friday night at Sadler Stadium.

The Quakers dropped game one of the twinbill, 7-4, despite a career performance from Earlham pitcher Walter Talcott.

The Maroon and White rallied to triumph over the visiting Beavers, 11-2, in game two.

Earlham moved its record to 15-5 overall, 1-1 HCAC, while Bluffton finished the day 12-7, 1-1 HCAC.

GAME 1

Earlham held a 4-1 lead heading into the top of the ninth and the Quakers were three outs away from the win, when Bluffton exploded for six runs on six hits and two errors to grab a 7-4 lead and steal the win.

The Quakers plated one run in the fourth on Dre Davis' RBI grounder to second, tying the game at 1-1, after the Beavers put one run up on the board in the third on Ryan Golden's RBI single.

Earlham extended its lead to 4-1 with a three-run sixth inning, making the most of two hits, a walk, a hit-by-pitch, and a Bluffton error.

Bluffton's ninth-inning rally was keyed by two-run singles from Adam Duncan and Jacob Latkofsky, and aided by a pair of Earlham errors.

Quaker starter Walter Talcott fanned a career-high 16 Bluffton batters, but allowed three runs, two earned, on nine hits over eight innings of work. Spencer Owen came on in the ninth to close out what looked like an Earlham win, but gave up three runs on three hits and was tagged with the loss.

Six Quaker batters accounted for Earlham's six hits, while Duncan paced the Beavers with a 3-for-4 effort at the plate.

GAME 2

Earlham pounded 11 runs off Bluffton pitching on 10 hits on its way to the 11-2 rout of the Beavers.

The Quakers broke a 2-1 game wide open in the fifth with a five-run uprising on just two hits and two errors, aided by three walks. Addison Robertson's grounder to short with two outs and bases loaded resulted in two runs scoring, and proved to be the pivotal play of the inning.

After a single Earlham run in the sixth, the Quakers had another big inning in the seventh when three Maroon and White runs crossed. Andrew McFadden and Kendal Baker each stroked RBI singles in the frame, which ended with the Quakers holding an 11-1 lead.

Starter Kyle Gorman fanned 10 Bluffton batters over 7.0 innings on his way to the win. Colby Clifton was tagged with the loss for the Beavers after allowing Earlham to take an early 2-0 lead over his 1.2 innings on the mound.

Dre Davis went 3-for-5 for the Quakers, while Robertson tallied three RBI.

Earlham continues HCAC play this week with a doubleheader on Wednesday at Rose-Hulman. First pitch in game one of the doubleheader is slated for 4:00 p.m.

For more information about Earlham baseball, visit the online home of Earlham College athletics at www.GoEarlham.com. Fans can also stay up-to-date on the latest Earlham athletics news by following Earlham Quakers on Facebook (Earlham Quakers Athletics), Twitter (@EarlhamQuakers), and Instagram (EarlhamQuakers).