Baseball Suffers 5-1 Loss to Luther in IIAC Tournament Opener

Baseball Suffers 5-1 Loss to Luther in IIAC Tournament Opener

The Buena Vista baseball team got the Iowa Conference Tournament underway against fifth-seed Luther College on Thursday afternoon, but the Beavers were held to only one hit and just three base runners over the final seven innings, as they fell to the Norse, 5-1 at Daniels Park.

Luther totaled seven base hits (all singles) over the first three innings against BVU senior Jake Bjorkgren to build an early 4-0 lead.  The Norse scored on a two-out RBI single in the second before adding three more in the third.  BVU recorded its first hit of the game in the third when Thomas Wisecup led off the frame with a sharp single off a diving first baseman, but was stranded at second.

Bjorkgren then settled down nicely, facing the minimum over the next four innings, allowing only a pair of singles, and getting an inning ending double-play in the seventh.

The Norse strung together a couple of base hits in the eighth, getting a lead-off single and a two-out RBI single to right center, to tack on an insurance run and build a 5-0 cushion.

Bjorkgren was relieved after the run in the eighth; as fellow senior Ian Grigsby came on to get a fly out to right to end the inning.  Grigsby then went back out and pitched a perfect ninth.

BVU tried to mount a rally in the ninth, getting consecutive walks by pinch hitter Kendall Candor as well as Neil Marshall, respectively, to start the inning, but were only able to push across one on an RBI groundout from junior Tanner Truesdell.

Wisecup's single was the lone hit for BVU, and the only base runner the Beavers had until the ninth.

All 13 base hits in the contest were singles.

Bjorkgren, who could have possibly made the last start of his career, dips to 4-3 on the year.  Only three of the runs allowed were earned, and he also struck out two.

Teddy Klingsporn was dominant on the mound for Luther (20-21), going the distance and striking out 11, while issuing only a pair of ninth inning walks.

Buena Vista is now 25-15 overall and will look to avoid elimination on Saturday when the team returns to action at 10:00am to face sixth-seed Loras College.  The Duhawks were handed a 9-1 setback by third-seed Central College in the other first round game played at Veterans Memorial Stadium.