Grinnell, IA -- The Beloit College Baseball team's 2017 season came to a painful end on Saturday with back-to-back losses to rival St. Norbert College for the Midwest Conference Championship. SNC took the games 6-4 and 9-5.
In the opener the Buccaneers got off to a strong start with two runs in the top of the first on Kam Sallee's RBI double to left field and Brice Call's run-scoring single thru the left side. Ethan Conley then led off the second inning with a home run to center, the first of his career, to make it 3-0.
The Green Knights scored once in the third to cut into the lead and then plated four runs on four hits in the fourth to jump on top 5-3. Mike Gulve's RBI double in the sixth pulled the Bucs back to within 5-4 but that's as close as they could get as SNC tacked on an unearned run in the seventh to close out the scoring. Beloit had runners in scoring position in both the eighth and ninth but couldn't get that one hit they needed. The win by St. Norbert forced the second game, a winner-take-all affair for the MWC Title.
Call had three hits in the setback while Gulve, Mark Stephens and Conley all had two. Beloit left 14 runners on base and St. Norbert 11.
In the deciding game the Bucs again got off to a good start with four runs in the bottom of the first, all unearned. Jeremy Dutton started the scoring with a bases-loaded walk, Jalen Davis scored on a double play, and Terrence Cribbs doubled in two runs. SNC got one of the runs back in the top of the second and made it 4-2 in the fourth with a solo home run.
Beloit answered that fourth inning run with one in the bottom of the inning when Conley scored on an error. St. Norbert then tied the game at 5-all with a three-run home run in the fifth. The score held at 5-5 until the top of the ninth, when the Green Knights plated four runs and then got out of a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the inning to secure the Championship.
Davis, Sallee, Cribbs and Conley all had two hits in the game.
The Buccaneers close the season 19-19-1 and say goodbye to seniors Sallee, Gulve, Austin Martinez, Zach Jenkins, Austin Padjen and Shane Wood.