The Buena Vista baseball team wrapped up its regular season on Saturday afternoon by winning the three-game weekend series at Coe College after splitting a doubleheader with the Kohawks. Coe scored a pair of late runs to take the opener, 3-1, before BVU hung on for a 7-5 victory in the nightcap.
With the game tied at 1-1 in the opener, Coe plated a pair of runs in the sixth to take a 3-1 lead. BVU tried to mount a late rally, loading the bases with no outs in the ninth inning, but a couple of short fly balls and a pop out ended the game.
Coe starter Jack Greene made it tough on the Beaver hitters all game long, as he recorded 12 strikeouts in 8.1 innings.
Jake Lewis worked the first 5.2 innings, but got into a bit of a jam after retiring the first batter of the sixth. The senior southpaw scattered seven hits and struck out three
Tate Holmes came on to work a perfect 2.1 innings to wrap things up.
With the loss pushing the Beavers out of a chance for a second-seed in next week's Iowa Conference Tournament, the team needed a bounce-back win to avoid falling to the fourth seed.
Coe scored the game's first run in the second inning before Hilgenberg tied things up with one swing of the bat in the third. BVU also plated a run in the fourth before Hilgenberg singled home one in the fifth followed by Kendall Candor's two-run home run to make it 5-1.
The Kohawks got within 5-2 in the bottom half but Candor came through yet again, driving in two more key insurance runs with a single right back up the middle in the sixth.
Coe made it 7-4 in the home half and added another in the ninth but Dalton Mason worked himself out of the jam by getting the potential tying run grounded out to end the game. For Mason, it was his eighth save of the year which leads all IIAC pitchers.
Candor finished 2-for-5 with four RBI while Hilgenberg went 2-for-4 with two RBI and a pair of runs scored. Cam Johnson, who homered on Friday night, added two more hits as BVU tallied 11 overall.
Keenan Jones picked up the win and moved his record to 3-3 overall. He went five innings, allowing two runs on five hits while walking two. Egan Bonde worked an inning and was charged with the second two runs before Gage Smart struck out three over his two innings. Mason then came on to start the ninth and surrendered the one run on one hit.
BVU picked up its seventh IIAC series win of the year and finished the regular season at 25-14, 15-9 IIAC. The team earns the third-seed into the IIAC Tournament which begins on Thursday, May 11. BVU will face sixth-seed Central College at 1:00pm at Veterans Stadium in Cedar Rapids. The winner of that game will face second-seed Dubuque at 4:00pm.