Buena Vista beats UWW in ninth
Beavers’ first appearance a memorable one with late win
APPLETON, Wis. -- Buena Vista made its first game in the NCAA Division III Championship a memorable one as senior Mike Hoffman lined a single to center with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to lift the Beavers to a thrilling 5-4 victory against Wisconsin-Whitewater on Friday.
Tyler Case drew a one-out walk to get the rally started and moved up to second when Brad Blum ripped a single down the third base line. Yossi then fouled out to the first baseman out past the dugout and up against the wall, allowing Case to tag and move up to third. The Warhawks, who started 10-game winner Jeff Donovan, then brought in their other 10-game winner Matt Tincher, but Mike Hoffman then lined a 1-1 pitch to center to plate the game-winning run.
"I wasn't expecting to get three straight fastballs," said Hoffman. "When that third one came belt-high over the middle of the plate, I just did what I had to with it."
BVU struck first with a run in the second and a 1-0 lead. Senior Kevin Kloewer singled up the middle to start the inning. Joe Paletta followed two batters later with a sharp single to center, and after a balk moved them to second and third, senior Andy Compton came through with a well-executed sacrifice bunt to the right side to score Kloewer.
Wisconsin-Whitewater then got a lead-off triple in the third and tied things up with a sacrifice fly. The Warhawks then strung together a pair of two out hits, including a run scoring double into the left field corner giving them their first lead at 2-1.
Senior Tyler Case doubled to the gap in right center to start BVU's half of the inning and came around to score two batters later on Brock Yossi's sacrifice fly to the line in right.
BVU added to its lead in the seventh when it loaded the bases with no outs. Paletta led off with a walk and was then lifted for pinch runner Nick Maxwell. The Beavers then took advantage of a pair of Warkhawk throwing errors on a bunt attempt from Compton to put runners at first and third. Dylan Colo then singled on a bunt up the first base line to load them up for Brad Blum who singled to center on a 1-2 and a 4-2 lead.
Senior Kyle Dupic then relieved Probasco with two on and two outs in the eighth and got big strikeout to end the inning.
After the lead-off batter reached to start the ninth, junior James Stone came on to try and close things out, but the Warhawks clawed back with a pair of runs, including a two-out line drive RBI single to right to tie the game at 4-4.
"We're just playing loose and playing well," said head coach Steve Eddie. "We have a great group of seniors and these guys just dont ever want to lose. They grind it out until the end."
Blum, Hoffman and Kloewer each tallied two hits to lead BVU at the plate with Kloewer and Case also scoring twice.
Probasco, who got the no decision, gave the Beavers 7.2 innings on the mound, allowing just two runs, while scattering eight hits.
"I wasn't trying to think much out there on the mound," Probasco said. "I just went out there and stuck to the game plan and did what I was told to do."
Stone earns the win in relief and is now 5-3 on the year.
The win by BVU sets a new school record and improves the team to 33-16 overall. It will now play on Saturday at 8:45 p.m. ET against the winner of Friday's final game between Western New England and Keystone.