BVU struggles against Bethel University


Photo by Zach Hess

Tanner Frost, Sports Editor

The Buena Vista University (BVU) Baseball team had the chance to snap their three game losing streak this past Thursday night, as the team traveled north to take on the Bethel University Royals at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The beavers got off to a rough start this season with a lacking offense, and poor performances on defense. In their first three games, BVU gave up a combined 33 runs to their opponent, Washington Missouri University, only scoring seven.

In order to grab a pair of wins, the team needed to establish a connection between the pitchers and fielders, as well as improve upon their low .174 batting average.

Unfortunately, the visiting Beavers dropped another two games scoring 5-3, and 13-1.

The first game put sophomore Tate Holmes on the mound for Buena Vista.

The game started out a back-and-forth affair, with both teams leaving runners on base in scoring positions during the first inning.

Bethel broke the deadlock in the top of the second, as Brandon Meyer hit a deep double off the right field wall, scoring Leech and Westner from 3rd and 2nd bases.

Buena Vista’s offense slightly picked up, recording singles and doubles to get runners on base. BVU missed a huge opportunity to take the lead when freshman Coleman Roberts came to the plate with one out and bases loaded in the top of the 4th. A ground ball to the second baseman saw Bethel record a 4-6-3 double play to retire the side.

Holmes continued a strong game, holding Bethel to only two runs until the top of the 7th where Bethel scored another run on a single up the middle. Head Coach Steve Eddie decided a reliever would be best suited to finish the game, and he brought in sophmore Gage Smart for the final outs.

Bethel capitalized on the pitching change, scoring runners from second and first to increase their lead to 5-0.

With the game on the line in the bottom of the 7th, Buena Vista surged with a lead-off single by Nick Henrichs, followed up with Porter Sartor hit by a pitch. Ryan Steim drove Henrichs in with an RBI single, and Bryce Rheault doubled off the right field wall to score two more runs.

However, the Beaver comeback was cut short by, with Bethel winning 5-3 after seven innings. The first game of the night would go to the Royals.

Game two saw Bethel start strong, driving in three runs in their half of the first inning.

The BVU defense sharpened up afterwards with a couple of highlight plays.

With Egan Bonde on the mound, Roberts laid out and caught a deep line drive in the bottom of the fourth inning, and center fielder Devin Wagenman snagged a deep ball near the wall in dead center not long after.

However, Buena Vista was unable to record any runs, and Bethel took advantage of it. In the bottom of the 6th inning, the Royals drove in 10 runs, increasing their lead 13-0 over BVU.

The BVU pitching staff had no answer for the Bethel offense. Casey Hendricks came in to relieve Bonde at the start of the inning; however, numerous pitching changes occurred as the Beavers tried to find anyone to stop the hot offense of Bethel. Chris Gumto, Andy Bower, and Eric LaRue all took the mound for BVU in the sixth inning.

A double by Wagenman, followed by an RBI single from Henrichs put BVU on the scoreboard, but it wasn’t near enough as Bethel dominated the Beavers.

The final score of game two stood at 13-1 for Bethel.

Junior Peyton Renning understands the team is underachieving at the moment, but believes they can find their form soon.

“We have a very young team this year and I think everyone is still in the process of getting comfortable playing at a new level of competition,” says Renning. “We just need to stay focused and stick to the process we set out at the beginning of the season. We all know we have the talent to be very good this year and we know that the wins will come.”

The double header losses see Buena Vista fall to 0-5 on the season, still looking for their first win.

The Beavers are back in action Thursday, March 15th against Wesleyan Connecticut University, in Tucson, Arizona. That game will be the first of eight in a week’s span from the 15th to the 22nd.