Beavers Sweep Spartans and Earn #2 Seed and First Round Bye

Gage Smart pitching against Loras on March 31, 2019. (Photo by Hannah Hueschen)
Gage Smart pitching against Loras on March 31, 2019. (Photo by Hannah Hueschen)

STORM LAKE – The Buena Vista baseball team wrapped up the regular season on Saturday afternoon in thrilling fashion as the Beavers scored a run in the eighth inning of game two and held on for the 1-0 victory which completed the three-game sweep of visiting Dubuque and give the team the second seed and a first round bye in next week's American Rivers Conference Tournament.

BVU made sure it would secure at least a top-three seed with a strong performance in game one, as the Beavers secured the series win with a commanding 11-0 victory in seven innings.  Peyton Renning had a great game driving in three runs while going 2-for-4 at the plate along with a run scored. Bryce Rheault went 3-for-4 at the plate driving in one run with a triple and a pair of singles. Logan Mueller and Nick Henrichs both had two hits and scored two runs apiece.

It was a 3-0 lead before BVU erupted with an eight-run fifth inning.  Coleman Roberts came through first with a two-run single to right before Renning broke things open with a three-run triple to the gap in right center.  Senior Egan Bonde, making his final career home start, went out on a strong note by pitching a complete-game shutout and allowing  just five hits and posting five strikeouts. 

Game two was little different story than game one. It was a battle of the pitchers - just like Friday night's opener - as there was a total of only eight hits in the ball game. Eric LaRue pitched 4.2 innings for the Beavers, allowing two of the three hits for Dubuque and recording five strikeouts. Tyler Tennyson came in as relief with a 3-1 count on the batter with two outs and runners at first and second and got a groundout to end the threat.  Tennyson went on and pitched 3.1 innings only allowing one hit to get the win.  Gage Smart came in and worke a perect ninth to close the game out and get his sixth save on the year.

It was a scoreless game until BVU broke through in the eighth for the game's only run.  Renning singled with one out and later stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error by the catcher that skipped into centerfield on the play.  After Rheault struck out for the second out, Joe Rock sent a ground ball up the middle and beat out the throw to first to score Renning.

Renning and Rock both went 2-for-4 in the game, combining for four of the five hits for the Beavers.

The three-game sweep gave BVU 10 straight home victories to close out the year, and they will enter the conference tournament having won nine of its final 10 games of the regular season.

The A-R-C Tournament gets underway on Thursday, May 9, with first round games scheduled for 11:00 a.m.  The Beavers will play at 2:00 p.m. and will face the winner of #3 Luther and #6 Loras.