Junior Jeremy Lambert hit a three-run home run in the first inning of game one which helped spark the Buena Vista baseball team to a series-opening 9-1 victory over visiting Wartburg College on Friday night. The Knights, however, were able to overcome a 5-0 deficit to edge the Beavers in the finale, 8-7, in 11 innings.
After sophomore Jesse Munsterman lifted a sacrifice fly to left with one out and the bases loaded, Lambert came through with his three-run blast with two outs to give the Beavers a 4-0 advantage after an inning.
BVU then put up five more runs with two outs in the third to break open a 9-0 lead. Dillon Plath doubled home a pair with his liner to right center with Eddie following up with an RBI single to center. Nick Schlecht then tripled to deep right to drive in a run, and then he later scored on freshman Brandon Wessels RBI single to left.
Wartburg would get one of those runs back in the top of the fourth, but that was all the Knights could manage against starter Jon Ringblom, who allowed just four hits and struck out six for his second complete-game of the year. He didn’t allow a single base runner until the fourth.
Wessels finished 3-for-4 at the plate with an RBI and a run scored with Lambert going 2-for-3 with the three RBI and a pair of runs scored. Fellow junior Joe Paletta chipped in with a pair of base knocks and also scored twice.
In the finale, BVU got run-scoring singles from Wessels and Paletta in the third before senior Ryan Scheetz doubled home another, giving the Beavers an early 3-0 lead.
It was another two-out rally for BVU in the fourth, as senior Alex Davis doubled and Nick Schlecht walked before the duo scored on Wessels’ two-run double.
Wartburg, however, began to slowly chip away, getting a run in the fifth and two more in the sixth to get within 5-3. The two teams then went scoreless in the seventh before Wartburg tied the game with a two-out single.
BVU regained the lead in the bottom half when Wessels drove in another run with a sacrifice fly to right.
The Knights then rallied with two outs and a runner on first in the ninth. After a pinch runner entered the game, he stole second and came around to score on an RBI grounder right back up the middle with two strikes.
Wartburg put together a pair of RBI singles in the 11th before BVU added a run in the bottom half and stranded the tying run at first.
Wessels added three more hits in the contest, drove in four and scored twice. Scheetz doubled twice and finished with four hits and two RBI with Davis coming around to score twice.
Sophomore Ian Grigsby got the hard-luck no decision after getting the start and going 5.1 innings, allowing three runs on seven hits, while striking out four. Fellow sophomore Jake Bijorkgren suffered the loss after being charged with three runs and seven hits over three innings after coming on in the eighth.
Buena Vista is now 10-8 overall (2-4 IIAC) and will look to take the series on Saturday afternoon. First pitch of game one is slated for 1:00pm.
Check out photos of our student-athletes in action in the Beaver sports photo galleries.