MASON – The Wilmington College baseball team committed five errors which led to five unearned runs as the Fightin' Quakers fell to Bluffton Tuesday, 7-0, in non-conference action at Prasco Park.
"It's evident that we are a work in progress," said Wilmington head coach Dan Cleaver. "We have 16 freshmen and sophomores on the roster, and they play a lot. We are going to have to live with them learning one game at a time. We have some mental miscues that we have to take care of, and we didn't hit the ball well. We had one hard hit ball in nine innings, and it was an out."
Sophomore Corey Walker (Hillsboro, OH/Hillsboro) was saddled with the loss (0-2) after allowing four runs (two earned) on six hits in three innings of work. He had two strikeouts for WC.
The relief corps of Samuel Cranor (Cincinnati, OH/LaSalle), Austin Merkle (Wilmington, OH/Clinton-Massie) and Billy Foster (Xenia, OH/Xenia) combined for six innings, allowing three unearned runs on five hits, two strikeouts and two walks. All five of the hits came off Merkle.
"I have been pleased with our pitching all year long," said Cleaver. "Sam (Cranor) has been outstanding, and has pitched his way into the rotation."
Bluffton took the lead with an unearned run in the top of the first inning, and then added a three-spot in the third. The Beavers added two unearned runs in the sixth inning and another unearned run in the ninth.
Sophomore Clay Cleaver (Pleasant Plain, OH/Little Miami), sophomore Tyler Schrock (Waynesville, OH/Waynesville) and junior Dan Conroy (Columbus, OH/Centennial) each had a hit for the Fightin' Quakers.
Cleaver (0-1) is slated to start 6 p.m. Monday when Wilmington travels to Mount St. Joseph for a non-conference game. The game will be played at Marge Schott Stadium on the campus of the University of Cincinnati.