Freshman Nick Henrichs blasted a pair of home runs, added a double and drove in four runs to help lift the Buena Vista baseball team past Coe College on Friday afternoon in the opener of their three-game weekend series that was shifted to Cedar Rapids.
Henrichs connected on the first of his two homeruns in the second inning, drilling a three-run opposite field shot over the fence in right to give BVU an early 3-0 lead. The Kohawks got two of those runs back right away in the third inning but the Beavers, who scored in four of the first five innings, got a two-run single from Tyler Tennyson in the third, a two-run double by Peyton Renning in the fourt and a solo homerun by Henichs in the fifth to extend their lead to 8-2.
A pair of RBI single by Coe in the seventh kept the Kohawks (15-10, 9-3 IIAC) within striking distance at 8-5, but the BVU bullpen managed to close the door and not allow them to claw any closer.
Coleman Roberts added an RBI on a fielder's choice bunt attempt in the eighth while Tennyson drove home his third run of the day with a fielder's choice of his own.
Andrew Bower, who came on to start the eighth, struck out two of the three Kohawk batters in the inning before working around a one-out error in the ninth to pick up his first save of the season.
Gage Smart pitched 6.1 innings, scattering nine hits and allowing five runs while walking four and striking out one. Clayton Christian came on with two on and one out in the seventh, and allowed a two-out, two-run single with the runs charged to Smart before getting another groundout to avoid any further damage.
Henrichs was 3-for-3 with his four RBI and three runs scored, Rennning also finished with three hits, including a pair of doubles, while Bryce Rheault also doubled, finished with two hits and two runs scored. BVU finished with 13 hits in the contest, including six for extra bases. Coe, meanwhile, tallied 10 hits, but only one went for extra bases.
Buena Vista improves to 12-13 overall (8-4 IIAC) and has now won nine of the last 11 games played against Coe. The win gets the team within one game of Coe and Loras for second in the standings and are just two back in the loss column to league-leading Dubuque which cruised past Wartburg in their series opener. BVU and Coe will wrap up the series on Saturday afternoon with a doubleheader starting at 1:00 p.m.