Beloit, WI -- There was happiness on the faces of the Beloit College Baseball team after Sunday's 10-0 game one win over Ripon College at The Ballpark. And the reason was clear. The win clinched a spot in the four-team Midwest Conference Tournament next weekend.
The happiness turned a little sour after the 16-8 loss in game two. A win would have given the Bucs the outright MWC North Division title and host honors for the Tournament. The Buccaneers now share the title with St. Norbert College, who will host the Tournament based on tiebreakers. And the fact remains Beloit is returning to the Tourney for the first time since the 2012 season.
The Bucs will play South Division Champion Grinnell College at 9:45 a.m. on Friday morning at Westwood Field. A win sends Beloit into a winner's bracket game vs. the winner of St. Norbert vs. Cornell College at Larry Van Alstine Field at Mel Nicks Stadium at 1:00 p.m. A loss has the Buccaneers playing in an elimination game vs. the loser of the St. Norbert-Cornell game at Van Alstine Field at 4:00 p.m. The Tournament concludes Saturday afternoon with the Champion earning the MWC's automatic NCAA Division III bid.
In the big opening win, the Buccaneers scored their first run in the second inning on a suicide squeeze by Zach Kolasinski, scoring Adrian Peil. Beloit then busted the game wide open with an eight-run third inning, seven of the runs scoring being unearned. Peil and Jeremy Dutton had RBI singles, Mark Christine a fielder's choice RBI, Mike Gulve a two-run double, Joey Casa a run-scoring double, Brice Call an RBI single and Kam Sallee an RBI double in the big inning as the Bucs sent 11 batters to the plate.
That was more than enough runs but Beloit added one more in the sixth when Ryan Kaveney singled in Sallee. Austin Padjen finished his complete game in the seventh with a 1-2-3 inning to end the game early, setting off a celebration near the mound.
Padjen allowed four hits while striking out four and walking one for his fifth win of the season. Dutton finished with four hits while Sallee had three and Gulve and Peil two each.
In the second game the Red Hawks grabbed the advantage with five runs in the third inning, including a grand slam, another in the fourth to make it 6-0 and then scored four more in the fifth before Beloit scored three times in the bottom of the fifth. Kolasinski scored on a wild pitch and Sallee hit a two-run single in the inning.
Ripon answered with two in the sixth to make it 12-3 before the Bucs got back in it with five runs in the seventh. Call had a run-scoring single, Peil was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and Dutton hit a three-run double to pull Beloit within 12-8. But that was the last of the Beloit scoring. RC added four more runs in the eighth while the Buccaneers could only draw two walks in the final two innings.
Sallee finished with two hits to lead the nine-hit attack.