Buena Vista freshman right-hander Ian Grigsby (Gretna, Neb./Gretna) took the mound in Friday afternoon’s series opener at Luther College for his first career start and allowed just five hits en route to a complete-game shutout, as the Beavers got a run in the seventh inning for the 1-0 victory. The Norse came back to score four runs in the fifth inning of game two to win, 9-6.
Grigsby has now allowed just one unearned run in nearly 18 innings of work this season, while striking out 20 and walking only eight. Only one runner reached third base the entire contest and that came with two outs in the first. Only one runner reached second base after that point and that came with one out in the seventh.
Junior Neil Eddie (Owatonna, Minn./Owatonna) drew a lead-off walk to start the seventh inning rally for the Beavers. Pinch runner Eric Croghan (Portsmouth, Iowa/Harlan) then came on and moved up to second on a sacrifice bunt from sophomore Joe Paletta (Omaha, Neb./Millard South). Croghan then moved to third on a single from freshman Ryan Titman (Boone, Iowa/Boone) before scoring on Weston Foxx’s (Elkhorn, Neb./Elk Horn) RBI single.
Titman finished with three of the team’s six hits in the contest.
The win was also the 240th in the career of head coach Steve Eddie.
Luther College came out with three runs in the first inning of game two to take the early 3-0 lead. BVU got one back in the second when Paletta singled home Brock Yossi (Dallas Center, Iowa/Dallas Center-Grimes), but the Norse then responded with a run in the bottom half for a 4-1 advantage.
BVU then took its first lead of the contest in the fourth, when it scored four times on five hits. Freshman Alex Brown (Harlan, Iowa/Harlan), who came up with the game-winning hit against Coe College last weekend, singled to lead off the frame before moving to third when Yossi doubled. After Eddie walked to load the bases, Paletta came through yet again with a two-run double. Titman and Foxx then followed with RBI singles to cap the scoring and give the Beavers a 5-4 lead.
The Norse, however, got an unearned run in the bottom of the inning to tie the game at 5-5.
BVU bounced back to regain the lead at 6-5 in the fifth when Brown led off with a double and Yossi walked. Eddie then sacrificed them up to second and third, respectively, and Paletta drove home his fourth run of the game with an RBI ground out.
Luther (9-12, 2-5 IIAC) then came back in the bottom of the inning with four two-out runs on three hits, while also drawing three walks to go up 9-6 and win by that same score.
Junior Ryan Scheetz (Omaha, Neb./Millard North) went 2-for-2 and walked twice for the Beavers, while Brown Yossi and Paletta also finished with two hits. Brown and Yossi also scored a pair of runs with Yossi stealing his seventh base of the year.
Senior Michael Dirkx (Carroll, Iowa/Carroll) got the start and recorded a no-decision after being charged with five runs (four earned) on seven hits over three-plus innings. Cam Beatty (Omaha, Neb./Millard North), who came on to relieve Brennan Holm (Fairmont, Minn.) with two outs in the fourth, was charged with the loss after allowing one run on one hit. BVU used six pitchers in the contest.
The Beavers are now 11-11 overall (3-5 IIAC) and will wrap up the series with the Norse on Saturday morning when the two teams play the nine-inning game starting at 10:00am.
Check out photos of our student-athletes in action in the Beaver sports photo galleries.