The Beloit College baseball team won the series against Ripon with a pair of wins at Strong Field Sunday afternoon. The Buccaneers opened the day with a 5-3 win and followed with a 19-10 offensive onslaught in game two to move into second in the Midwest Conference North Division with a 6-6 mark.
The Bucs used a three-run second to lead the way to victory in game one. The Red Hawks opened the scoring with a single run in the top of the first. Jeremy Dutton got the bottom of the second started with a leadoff walk. Bronson Balholm singled up the middle in the next at bat putting runners on the corners. A fielder’s choice led to one out but allowed Dutton to score knotting the game 1-1. Robbie Achromowicz tagged a double to center field and Terrence Cribbs followed with an RBI sacrifice fly to center to make it 2-1 Beloit. The final run of the inning crossed home on Mark Christine’s single through the left side giving the Bucs a 3-1 lead.
Ripon tallied a run in the top of the fifth but the Bucs answered in their half of the inning and it was déjà vu in the sixth as the Red Hawks scored in the top and Beloit responded in the bottom of the frame for the final.
Each team registered 10 hits in the game with Achromowicz leading Beloit with a 3-for-4 performance in the batter’s box adding two runs scored.
Connor McCloskey picked up the win on the mound in 2.2 innings of relief work for the Bucs.
Game two was a roller coaster with momentum shifting back-and-forth along with the lead until the seventh inning.
The Buccaneers took an early 2-0 lead on Jalen Davis’ two-run blast in the first but the Red Hawks responded with a single run in the second and three runs in the third to take a 4-2 lead.
Not to be outdone, Beloit put up five runs in the bottom of the third to regain the lead 7-4. The momentum changed hands again with Ripon tallying four scores in the top of fourth recapturing the lead 8-7.
A hit, Red Hawk miscue and passed ball played roles in the Bucs’ game-tying run in the fifth but that score was negated in the top of the sixth as Ripon brought another run in to make it 9-8.
After a scoreless bottom of the sixth and top of the seventh, the Bucs broke the game wide open with six runs in the bottom of the frame. Matthew Celentano led off the inning with a walk and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Cribbs. Christine showcased his speed legging out a single on a bunt to put runners on the corners. A fielder’s choice switched Beloit’s baserunners to first and second but an error in the net at bat allowed one run to touch home. With two outs, another came in on Ethan Conley’s single through the left side. Bronson Balholm was hit by a pitch and Dutton wasn’t deterred by a change on the mound as he tagged a double down the left field line to plate two more. Brice Call followed with another single to bring in two more Bucs giving Beloit a 14-9 lead after seven.
A solo homerun by Ripon’s second baseman made it 14-10 but the Bucs weren’t done yet. Beloit scored five runs on six hits including two off of a second two-run bomb from Davis in the bottom of the eighth for the final.
Davis was 4-for-6 at the plate with four runs scored and five runs batted in the game to highlight the Bucs’ offense.
Christine picked up the win after moving from the shortstop position to the mound in the seventh inning. In three innings of work he allowed just three hits.
The Midwest Conference is still up in the air with one weekend of games left on the north side. Beloit (6-6) now stands alone in the second place in the MWC North behind St. Norbert College (9-3) with one four-game league series left. The Bucs will take on Lawrence (4-8) for an away-and-home series Saturday and Sunday. Ripon holds third with a 5-7 mark with four games against St. Norbert still left on the docket.The top two from the north and top two from the south divisions will meet in the conference tournament.