Buena Vista eliminates Ill. Wesleyan
Paletta's ninth-inning RBI single provides winning margin
BLOOMINGTON, Ill. -- After Buena Vista saw Illinois Wesleyan come back from a 6-2 deficit and tie the score at 6-6 in the eighth, Joe Paletta gave the team the lead right back with the eventual game-winning RBI single in the top of the ninth to help the Beavers eliminate the defending national champions with a 7-6 victory.
Kloewer got the ninth-inning rally started by drawing a two-out walk and then advanced to third on single up the middle from Ryan Scheetz. Paletta then came through by sending a high chopper over the first baseman's head and the throw back from the second baseman was not in time.
James Stone, who came on in relief in the eighth, worked around a two-out walk to get the final hitter to ground out to Dylan Colo at second.
Illinois Wesleyan tallied runs in both the second and third innings to take an early 2-0 lead.
BVU would get the bats going in the fourth, sending nine men to the plate. After Mike Hoffman sent a high chopper over the mound and towards second for an infield hit to lead off the fourth, Kevin Kloewer plated him from first with a shot to the gap in left center for his 18th two-bagger of the year. Ryan Scheetz then bunted Kloewer over to third before Joe Paletta hit a sharp single up the middle to even the score at 2-2.
Compton followed with a single through the right side to move Paletta up to second, and following a pitching change from the Titans, Dylan Colo chopped into a force out at third, but the throw over to first from the third baseman was wild, allowing Compton to go to third and Colo to second. Tyler Case, facing a 1-2 count, then came through as he ripped a single to center, scoring both runners and giving the Beavers their first lead of the game at 4-2.
The runs didn't stop there as BVU manufactured two more runs in the sixth and a 6-2 advantage. Colo singled with one out and moved up to second on a sacrifice from Case. Blum then singled home the team's fifth run with a sharp single to center and moved to second on the throw. That turned out to be key as he would then score one batter later when Brock Yossi ripped a single to left center for his fifth RBI of the tournament.
The Titans fought back with four runs in the eighth inning to tie the score at 6-6.
Kloewer finished 3-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored to lead the Beavers at the dish, while Yossi, Hoffman and Paletta all tallied two apiece.
Reggie Kock got the start on the mound and gave BVU 7.1 solid innings, allowing just three runs on five hits. Kyle Dupic relieved Kock and allowed three runs on one hit before Stone took over for the final 1.2 innings to pick up his fourth win of the year.
Buena Vista improves to 31-15 on the year and is now just one win away from winning the Central Regional and tying the school record for wins in a season set last year. The team will face Carthage College at noon on Saturday, a team it topped 8-1 to open the tournament.