Grinnell, IA -- It was a good news, bad news kind of day for the Beloit College Baseball team as they opened play at the Midwest Conference Baseball Tournament.
The good news - a 4-3 win over host Grinnell College in the Tournament opener. The bad news-a 14-0 loss to St. Norbert College in a Winners Bracket game.
The opener first. Alex Norman pitched a complete game and Jake Tresemer drove in three of the four runs as the Bucs came from behind, fell even, and then won the game in the later innings.
The Pioneers scored first, getting an unearned run in the opening inning. That one-run lead held until the Bucs scored three times in the top of the fifth to move in front. Evan Mascitti drove in Sean Little with a single to right center before Tresemer singled in Mascitti and Jordan Jaenicke.
But GC bounced back with two runs in the bottom of the sixth to tie it up at 3. The tie was shortlived. Tresemer doubled in Alex Jennings with an unearned run in the top of the seventh. Norman made the narrow lead stand for the final nine outs.
Norman's win was his seventh of the season, tying his own record plus three other pitchers for the most in a single season. He gave up six hits while striking out three and walking one.
Jaenicke also had two hits in the game.
In the second game, the Green Knights scored three in the top of the first and never looked back. They broke the game open with a six-run fourth and added three in the fifth and two more in the sixth before the game was called early after the seventh inning.
Emory Nelms, who doubled in the second, and Jake Parrott, who had a pinch-hit single in the sixth, recorded the only Beloit hits.
Like last season in Beloit, the Buccaneers need to win three games on Saturday to win their second MWC title and the automatic NCAA Division III Tournament bid that goes with it. It starts at 10:00 a.m. Saturday morning in a rematch with the host school, who eliminated Knox College 12-0 in the final game of day one. A win puts them into the Championship round with St. Norbert College, who they need to defeat twice to claim the crown.