DECORAH - After failing to close out the game in four straight innings, the Buena Vista baseball team was finally able to get the job done in the 13th frame, as the Beavers picked up a wild 13-11 victory to claim the series at Luther College on Sunday afternoon.
Noah Paper singled home Tyler Stoltze with the go-ahead run to break and 11-11 tie before Bryce Rheault later added a sacrifice fly to make it a two-run cushion. Clayton Christian was the eigth pitcher used for Buena Vista when he came on to start the bottom of the inning, and the junior worked a perfect frame en route to earning his first career save. Austin Scott recorded his first career victory despite allowing a run and two hits in the 12th.
BVU jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead in the first only to have the Norse come right back to tie things up in the second. BVU then regained the lead on a Stoltze RBI groundout in the third, but a sacrifice fly in the home half evened things up at 6-6.
That's how things stood until the ninth inning when things just got crazy. BVU took the lead in each inning from the ninth thru the 12th, but Luther answered in the home half to tie the game up with two outs in each frame.
The two teams combined for 37 hits in the contest, including 11 doubles. Joe Rock and Coleman Roberts each doubled and had four hits apiece to help lead the Beavers as Roberts also drove in two. Stoltze had two hits and three RBI and Rheault had two hits and scored three times.
BVU has now won seven of its last eight games overall and picks up its fifth series win of the year. The team moves back within one game of Luther for second place in the American Rivers Conference standings and also within a half game of Dubuque for third as the Spartans had their third game with Nebraska Wesleyan canceled due to weather.
The Beavers and Spartans will square-off in Storm Lake this upcoming Friday and Saturday for a three-game series to wrap up the regular season. The winner of the series is guaranteed no worse than a third seed in the conference tournament. BVU will take the field riding a seven-game home win streak. First pitch Friday night is set for 6:00 p.m.