By Tim Glon
BLUFFTON — Ohio Northern scored seven unearned runs in the top of the third inning and went on to a 10-7 non-conference baseball victory at area-rival Bluffton on Thursday afternoon at Memorial Field.
The Polar Bears improve to 11-13 with the victory, while the Beavers fall to 13-13 with the loss.
Trailing 3-1 after two innings, ONU sent 11 batters to the plate in the top of the third, scoring all seven runs with two out, to take an 8-3 lead.
Bluffton battled back to within 8-7 after six innings, but in the top of the seventh freshman Sam Zeleznik (Medina/Highland) homered and sophomore Michael Rocco (Orlando, Fla./Zionsville (Ind.)) had an RBI single to extend the lead to 10-7.
Senior Jackson Buda (Norton) came on and allowed only two baserunners in three innings of shutout relief to record his first career save.
Senior Blake Lester (Chesepeake) allowed five earned runs in 5.0 innings to earn the win and improve to 2-1 on the season.
Sophomore Matthew Burkett (Maumee) went 2-for-5 with three RBI, senior Luke Klinehoffer (Zanesville/John Glenn) was 2-for-5 with two RBI and Rocco was 2-for-4 with two RBI to pace Ohio Northern's offense.
The Polar Bears will return to Ohio Athletic Conference action on Saturday with a 1 pm double header at John Carroll.