Junior Joe Paletta (Omaha, Neb./Millard South) turned in three hits and scored three times, but the Buena Vista baseball team saw its rally come up a little short against Hamline University on Monday morning, as it fell to the Pipers, 7-6.
Hamline got on the board first with two runs in the third before the Beavers got the benefit of a fielding error in the top half of the fourth to score two runs of their own and square things up at 2-2. Juniors Weston Foxx (Elkhorn, Neb./Elkhorn) and Paletta each singled in the inning before both scored on the error with two outs.
The Pipers, however, came right back in the bottom half, chalking up five runs on four hits, while taking advantage of three BVU miscues in the field to take a 7-2 lead.
BVU got back within 7-3 in the fifth after getting the first two men on base. Dillon Plath (Omaha, Neb./Burke) walked to start the frame and moved up to second as junior Ryan Titman (Boone, Iowa/Boone) singled through the right side. Alex Davis (Webster City, Iowa/Webster City) then moved them both up a base with a sacrifice bunt before Foxx grounded out to second, scoring Plath from third.
The Beavers continued to chip away at the Piper lead in the sixth with two more runs to get within 7-5. Paletta singled to right to lead-off the inning, and two batters later, he scored when freshman Brandon Wessels (Palmer, Iowa/Manson NW Webster) tripled to left center for his first career three-bagger. He then scored one batter later on senior Neil Eddie’s (Owatonna, Minn./Owatonna) sacrifice fly to right.
It became a 7-6 game in the eighth when Paletta, who singled for the third time in the contest, scored from third as Hamline recorded the second out on a pick-off.
The Beavers then threatened to come all the way back and tie the game in the ninth. Eddie walked to lead-off the frame before being erased on a 6-3 double play. BVU, down to its last out, drew back-to-back walks to put the tying run in scoring position, but the Pipers, who have now won eight straight games, got Foxx to fly out to right to end the contest.
Paletta continues his torrid start to the year and is now batting .536 (18-for-32) with a team-high 11 runs scored.
Freshman Kendall Hazel (Sergeant Bluff, Iowa/Sergeant Bluff) made his first career start on the hill for BVU and suffered the loss after pitching the first 3.1 innings, allowing five runs (three earned) on four hits, while striking out three and walking two. Senior Griffin Hatten (Bancroft, Iowa/North Sentral Kossuth) then was charged with two runs on two hits in two-thirds of an inning before sophomore Cam Beatty (Omaha, Neb./Millard North) came on and pitched 3.2 innings of scoreless ball, while allowing just two hits and a walk, to go along with two strikeouts. Lucas Hadaway (Sheldahl, Iowa/North Polk) made his third appearance of the year and got the final out of the eighth.
Buena Vista is now 4-4 overall and will return to the diamond on Tuesday for a 12:00pm contest against St. John’s University (Minn.). It will then wrap up its spring break trip against Williams College (Mass.) on Wednesday at 4:00pm CT.
Check out photos of our student-athletes in action in the Beaver sports photo galleries.