Beavers Split a Doubleheader with Pioneers to begin Weekend Series

Beavers Split a Doubleheader with Pioneers to begin Weekend Series

TOPEKA, Kan. - The bats came to life a bit more on Saturday for the Buena Vista baseball team as it combined for 32 hits over the two games but had to settle for a doubleheader split against Grinnell College in a doubleheader played here at the Bettis Family Sports Complex.

The opener went into the 11th inning tied at 8-8 before the Beavers exploded for eight runs en route to a 16-8 victory before the Pioneers bounced back in the nightcap with seven runs in the first and three more in both the second and fifth innings for an 18-8 (7-inning) triumph.

It was a day to remember at the dish for the top-three hitters in the Beavers line-up - Bryce Rheault, Nick Henrichs and Peyton Renning - as that duo combined to go 19-for-32 in the two games.

Renning alone set career-highs in the opener with five hits and four RBI.  He singled home a run in the fourth to get BVU on the board and then added a two-run single during the team's eight-run 11th inning.  Henrichs matched a career-high with three hits in both contests while Rheault also finished with three hits in both games.

Noah Paper tied game one up at four in the fifth inning with a two-run blast over the fence in right for his first career home run.  Grinnell, however, regained the lead at 7-4 in the bottom half and led 8-5 before the Beavers plated three runs in the seventh to force extra frames.  Henrichs put BVU ahead for good with a big two-run double down the line in left before Renning followed up with his two-run single to make it it 12-8.  Coleman Roberts provided the big blast of the inning, connecting on his first home run of the year over the fence in right to extend the lead to 14-8.  Tyler Tennyson later stole home on a double steal before Rheault drove home the game's final run.

Henrichs also registered a new career-high with four runs scored as Rheault crossed the plate three times.

Gage Smart was the third of four pitchers used by BVU in the contest, and he picked up the win in relief by going four innings, allowing just two hits and striking out five.  After the Pioneers posted six runs and 10 hits over the first five innings, the Beaver relievers held them to just two runs on three hits over the final six frames.

The offensive momentum did carry over to the start of game two with BVU jumping out to a 3-0 lead after its first at-bat thanks in part to a two-run single off the bat of Joe Rock.

Grinnell, however, seized control in the bottom half by scoring seven times on just two hits.  The Pioneers were aided by four walks and a hit-by-pitch in the inning which later led to a three-run triple and a score on a wild pitch.  They then added three more runs in the second and two more in the third to make it a 12-3 cushion.

The Beavers added single runs in the fifth and sixth innings before tallying three in the seventh.  The Pioneers would end things in the home half after scoring three times to make it a 10-run margin.

Rheault and Henrichs each turned in three hits and two runs scored as Renning added two hits, an RBI and one run scored.  Rock finished with a career-high three RBI while Logan Mueller came on to pinch hit and launched his first career home run - a two-run shot - over the fence in right during the three-run seventh.

Eric LaRue got the start on the hill and suffered the loss after allowing 10 runs (all earned) on just three hits over 1.1 innings.  He struggled a bit with his command by walking five and striking out two.

Buena Vista is now 1-3 on the season while Grinnell sits at 1-1.  The same two teams will take the diamond once again on Sunday afternoon to play its second doubleheader of the weekend.  First pitch has been pushed back one hour and will now begin at 12:00 p.m.