The Buena Vista baseball team couldn't hold onto a pair of early leads on Friday afternoon against top-seed Wartburg College, but still managed to rally in the ninth inning but came up a little short in a 9-6 loss to the Knights.
The Beavers trailed 9-2 heading to the final inning but were able to make things interesting with the tying run at the plate. Ethan McHenry came on to pinch hit and doubled in a run before Bryce Rheault plated another with an infield hit.
Wartburg hit consecutive batters to load the bases with no outs, but the Knights got a pair of RBI groundouts that made it 9-6. Noah Paper walked to put runners at the corners with two outs, but the rally came up short after Cam Johnson flied out to center to end the game.
BVU grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first inning on a Devin Wagenman RBI single but the Knights tied things right up in the second with an RBI single.
The Beavers regained the advantage at 2-1 in the third only to see Wartburg plate a pair in the home half, including a two-run home run, to grab its first lead at 3-2.
A pair of throwing errors with the bases loaded led to three runs scoring in the fourth for Wartburg, as the Knights opened a 6-2 cushion. They went on to add one more in the fifth and two more in the eighth.
Keenan Jones (3-4) was charged with seven runs, but only three were earned, in five innings of work while suffering the loss. Egan Bonde and Tyler Vorrie combined to pitch the final three innings out of the bullpen.
The Beavers, now 26-16 overall, will face Coe College on Saturday morning at 10:00am in an elimination game. The winner of that contest moves on to face the Knights in the championship game at 1:00pm.