Written by BVU Sports Information Intern, Denis James
The Buena Vista baseball team is clinging to the sixth and final spot into the IIAC Baseball Tournament heading into the last regular season games against Wartburg. Game one of the series starts at 6:00pm on Friday night.
The Beavers enter the weekend with a record of 13-20 overall and a conference record of 9-11. They have been struggling over the past couple of weeks, dropping five out of thier last seven games. Wartburg has been in the top portion of the IIAC all year. The Knights will enter the series with a record of 23-10 and a conference record of 14-5.
Both teams enter the series in the middle of the pack offensively with team averages around .270. Peyton Renning has been great offensively this year for BVU, entering fifth in the IIAC in batting average (.358). He and the rest of the Beaver line-up will have their work cut out, as Wartburg has one of the best ptiching staffs in the league. Tanner Eckhart currently leads the conference in ERA entering the matchup with a 1.29 ERA. He has also pitched the third-most innings (63.0) and has the third-most strikeouts (63). As a team, Wartburg leads the IIAC in team ERA (3.17), saves (14), runs allowed (121), and earned runs (101).
Senior Devin Wagenman has hit safely in five straight games for BVU and in 13 of the team's last 16. He's also among the league leaders in average at .320. He enters his final career homestand with 145 career hits.
Buena Vista has gone just 1-7 in its last eight games, but needs just one win in the series or just one Central loss at Loras to secure the final spot into next week's IIAC Tournament. Wartburg, meanwhile, will be going after the regular season title. It comes into the weekend tied in the loss column with Dubuque. Two wins this weekend would lock it up for the Knights.
First pitch between the Beavers and Knights on Friday night is scheduled for 6:00pm. Saturday's doubleheader will begin at 1:00pm with Senior Day recognition taking place between games.