RICHMOND, Indiana – The Earlham College baseball team scored three runs in consecutive innings to come from behind and defeat Bluffton University 8-3 in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) action at Randal R. Sadler Stadium on Tuesday.
The Beavers (10-8, 3-5 HCAC) got on the board first with a solo home run from Tanner Hodges in the first inning. The Quakers (10-7, 5-3 HCAC) answered with an RBI-single from senior Eric Elkus. Bluffton added a run in the second and the fourth inning to take a 3-1 lead.
Earlham got within a single run in the bottom of the sixth when freshman Danny Dopp singled home senior Brennan Laird. After holding Bluffton scoreless in the seventh, the Quakers added three runs on two hits in the bottom of the seventh including a single from Elkus that drove in two runs.
Freshman Spencer Owen retired Bluffton in order in the top of the eighth, and senior Matt Barger drove a three-run home run over the left field fence in the bottom of the inning to secure the victory.
Freshman Kyle Gorman, the reigning HCAC Pitcher of the Week, gave Earlham a quality start, allowing 10 hits and two earned runs in six innings pitched. Senior Howie Smith, who relieved Gorman, earned his fourth win of the season.
Austin Every took the loss for Bluffton, allowing five earned runs while striking out seven in 6.2 innings pitched.
The Quakers, who tallied 14 hits as a team, were led by the top of their lineup as senior Nate Lynch (3-5), Barger (3-4), and Laird (3-4) all had three hits. Barger and Elkus both drove in three runs.
Luke Hickey led Bluffton's offensive effort with four hits and two RBIs.
With Elkus' three RBIs, he sits alongside Ted Williams (2011-14) for the most RBIs in program history with 112. In addition, Lynch, who stole two bases in the win, has 63 career stolen bases and is tied with Mark Vagades (1968-71) for the program's top mark.
With the win, the Quakers have now won nine consecutive HCAC weekday games along with seven straight victories over the Beavers. Earlham begins a 21-day, 12-game road swing with a three-game series at Manchester University this weekend.