The Buena Vista baseball team opened its 2012 campaign late Sunday night against St. John’s University (Minn.) inside of the H.H.H. Metrodome, and the Beavers split a pair of thrilling games to the Johnnies, falling 3-2 in the opener before taking game two, 1-0 (8 innings).
BVU led 2-0 heading into the bottom of the last inning of game one, and still held that same lead with two outs and runners at first and second. The Johnnies got an RBI single to cut their deficit to 2-1, and after a passed ball moved runners up to second and third, they got a two-run, game-winning single.
Senior lefthander Michael Dirkx (Carroll, Iowa/Carroll) gave BVU six strong innings on the hill in a starting role, allowing just one hit and striking out four. Senior James Stone (Des Moines, Iowa/Johnston) suffered the loss after relieving Dirkx to start the seventh and was charged with all three runs, allowing three hits, while walking one and striking out one.
Weston Foxx (Elkhorn, Neb./Elkhorn) drove in both Beaver runs in the sixth, when he singled through the left side. Sophomore Joe Paletta (Omaha, Neb./Millard South) was hit by a pitch to start the inning and moved up to third on a double to right center field by freshman Jesse Munsterman (St. Peter, Minn./St. Peter). The two then scored on Fox’s base knock.
Senior Brock Yossi (Dallas Center, Iowa/Dallas Center-Grimes) and junior Neil Eddie (Owatonna, Minn./Owatonna) also tallied hits for BVU, which stranded seven runners in the contest.
Game two was just as much a pitcher’s duel from start to finish as the first one was, with base runners reaching at a premium.
Jon Ringblom (Omaha, Neb./Millard North), who nearly pitched the Beavers into the NCAA championship game a year ago, picked up just where he left off in that contest, going all eight innings in this one for the Beavers, allowing five hits and no runs, while striking out a career-high seven and walking one.
Munsterman picked up his second hit of the night in the second inning, and that proved to be BVU’s only hit until sophomore Ryan Titman’s (Boone, Iowa/Boone) game-winning RBI single in the bottom of the eighth inning drove home Foxx, who walked to lead off the frame and moved to third on a pair of wild pitches.
Buena Vista is now 1-1 overall and will be back in action again this weekend when it will play four games in three days in St. Louis ranging from Friday thru Sunday. The team will play a nine-inning contest against Washington University at 3:00pm on Friday and one nine-inning game against St. Scholastica on Sunday at 10:00am. In between, the Beavers will play nine-inning contests against both teams on Saturday, facing the College of Scholastica at 9:00am and the Bears at 3:00pm.
Check out photos of our student-athletes in action in the Beaver sports photo galleries.