After Central College erased a 5-0 Beaver lead to take a 7-6 advantage, the Buena Vista baseball team then used a late rally of its own, scoring runs in the seventh and eighth innings before hanging on in the end to edge top-seed Central College, 8-7, on Thursday night at the Iowa Conference Baseball Tournament. The Beavers improve to 3-1 against the Dutch this season.
For the second straight game, BVU used a big second inning to jump out in front early on. The team loaded the bases with no outs and got a run scoring single from Neil Eddie (Owatonna, Minn./Owatonna), followed by a two-run double from Dillon Plath (Omaha, Neb./Burke) to make it 3-0. Sophomore Ryan Titman (Boone, Iowa/Boone) later picked up an RBI groundout before sophomore Nick Schlecht (Omaha, Neb./Skutt) made it a five-run margin with an RBI single.
The Dutch, however, came back in the bottom half with three runs of their own on four hits to make it a 5-3 ballgame.
Titman then tripled with one out in the fourth and scored on batter later on sophomore Weston Foxx’s (Elkhorn, Neb./Elkhorn) RBI groundout to push the margin to three.
Central would take its first lead of the contest in the bottom half after scoring four runs on just two hits, but did leave a pair of runners on base.
BVU fought back in the seventh to tie the score when Eddie lined a single to left to score freshman Jesse Munsterman (St. Peter, Minn./St. Peter) from second.
Then with the help of two Dutch errors in the eighth, the team was able to regain the lead for good. Titman was again in the middle of the action, reaching on an error by the third baseman to lead-off the inning before advancing to second on a sacrifice bunt from Foxx. Sophomore Dylan Colo (Omaha, Neb./Millard North), who was pinch hitting, lined a single up the middle to put runners at first and third with one out.
Ryan Scheetz (Omaha, Neb./Millard North) then bounced a ball down to first in which the first baseman fielded and touched first, but his throw down to second to try and finish the double play attempt was wild, allowing the run to score and for Colo to move up to third.
Central looked to rally in the ninth, getting runners to second and third with two outs, but senior James Stone (Des Moines, Iowa/Johnston), who came on to start the eighth inning, got the final hitter to strike out to pick up his second save of the day and the fifth of the year.
Junior Brennan Holm (Fairmont, Minn.) improved to 3-0 on the year with the win in relief of senior Michael Dirkx (Carroll, Iowa/Carroll). Holm worked 3.1 innings and was charged with one unearned run on one hit, while fanning two.
Sophomore Joe Paletta (Omaha, Neb./Millard South) had another solid game at the plate, going 3-for-5 with a run scored, while extending his current hitting streak to five games. Eddie and Plath each posted two hits and two RBI.
Buena Vista improves to 23-17 overall and will now face second-seed Coe College on Friday afternoon at 1:00pm. The Kohawks join the Beavers as the only remaining unbeaten teams in the tournament after they edged third-seed Wartburg College, 10-9, earlier in the evening.
Check out photos of our student-athletes in action in the Beaver sports photo galleries.