Freshman Ian Grigsby (Gretna, Neb./Gretna) allowed two runs on three hits, while striking out three over five innings, and got help from his offense with six runs in the second inning, as the Buena Vista baseball team surged to an 8-5 opening round victory over fourth-seed Luther College during the Iowa Conference Baseball Tournament on Thursday afternoon.
Grigsby, who made his first start in nearly three weeks for the Beavers, allowed just one base runner through the first three innings. Luther scored its only two runs off him in the fourth, only one of which was earned. He then worked around a lead-off hit-by-pitch in his final inning of work and move to 3-0 on the year.
BVU wasted little time getting on the board in the second. Senior Brock Yossi (Dallas Center, Iowa/Dallas Center-Grimes) started the rally with a lead-off walk before a single from junior Neil Eddie (Owatonna, Minn./Owatonna) through the left side and a bunt single by sophomore Ryan Titman (Boone, Iowa/Boone) loaded the bases with no one out. After Yossi was forced out at home on a fielder’s choice for the first out, sophomore Weston Foxx (Elkhorn, Neb./Elkhorn) came through with the second of his three hits on the day – a two-run single through the left side for a 2-0 lead.
Sophomore Joe Paletta (Omaha, Neb./Millard South) later drove home a run when he beat out an infield single on a high chopper toward third to make it 3-0 before two more runs crossed after a fielding error by the Norse.
Yossi later capped the scoring when he lifted a single through the left side to score Paletta.
The Beavers made it 7-0 in the third when Titman doubled with one out and scored one batter later when Foxx lined a single to center.
Luther loaded the bases in the eighth with no outs and came away with only two runs to get back within three at 7-4.
Junior Ryan Scheetz (Omaha, Neb./Millard North) gave the Beavers a big insurance run in the ninth with a two-out single to right. Sophomore Dylan Colo (Omaha, Neb./Millard North) walked as a pinch hitter with two outs and the bases empty to start the rally, and proceeded to steal second and then reach third on a wild pitch.
The first two reached for the Norse in the ninth, but senior James Stone (Des Moines, Iowa/Johnston) came on and allowed just a one–out sacrifice fly to secure his fourth save of the year.
Junior Griffen Hatten (Bancroft, Iowa/North Sentral Kossuth) relieved Grigsby to start the bottom half of the sixth and worked the next three-plus innings, allowing three runs on five hits, while striking out three.
Foxx finished 3-for-5 at the plate with three RBI and a run scored, while Paletta also tallied three hits, to go along with an RBI and one run scored. Titman doubled twice and scored a pair of runs, as the Beavers out-hit Luther 14-8.
The win moves the fifth-seeded Beavers to 22-17 on the year and into a match-up with top-seed Central College (29-9) later on tonight at 7:00pm. BVU took 2-of-3 from the Dutch during the regular season.
Check out photos of our student-athletes in action in the Beaver sports photo galleries.