CEDAR RAPIDS - Nick Henrichs held Coe to just three hits over 5.2 innings before giving way to the bullpen and also registered two hits and an RBI at the plate to help push the Buena Vista University baseball team past top-seeded Coe College, 4-0, and earn a spot into Saturday's championship game of the American Rivers Conference Baseball Tournament.
BVU took advantage of some poor Kohawk defense in the early going which helped set them up to score a pair of runs with RBI singles from Tyler Stoltze and Ryley McGregor in the second inning. Henrichs then helped himself out in the third as he drove in Coleman Roberts with an RBI single with two outs. Roberts got the inning going with a single through the right side with the bases empty and two out.
Henrichs did work himself out of a few jams but allowed just three hits and struck out two despite walking three. After Coe had runners at second and third with two outs in the sixth, head coach Steve Eddie went to the bullpen and brought in Tyler Tennyson, who got pinch hitter Nolan Ryan to fly harmlessly out to center. Tennyson went 2.1 innings and allowed just one hit
Joe Rock led off the eighth inning with a sharp single into left field and advance to second on a sacrifice bunt from Roberts. Henrichs chopped a ball to shortstop that was bobbled for the fourth Kohawk error of the contest which set up Logan Mueller's safety squeeze and a big insurance run for the Beavers.
Coe tried to mount a last-chance rally putting runners at first and second in the ninth before Eddie again went to the bullpen and called on Gage Smart to shut the door. Smart got a flyout to center and back-to-back groundouts down the first base line en route to his eighth save of the year. That puts him into a tie for second in single-season history for the Beavers.
BVU held the Kohawks (33-4) to only five total hits in the contest as they were shutout for the first time all season.
Roberts also finished with a pair of hits as the Beavers tallied seven overall.
Buena Vista improves to 24-17 overall and advances into Saturday afternoon's tournament championship game which is set for 1:00 p.m. The Beavers will be seeking its third tournament championship in program history.