Eric LaRue pitched five strong innings, Bryce Rheault finished 3-for-5 with an RBI, but it was third-seed Coe College pushing across a two-out run in the bottom of the eighth inning to edge Buena Vista, 4-3, to begin play Thursday in the Iowa Conference Tournament inside of Veterans Memorial Stadium.
Rheault lined a single into right center in the seventh to tie the score at 3-3 before lining a first pitch into left center with two a runner on and two outs in the ninth as the Beavers tried to rally. Coe made a pitching change following the hit as Peyton Renning got set to step in, but Renning grounded out to first to end the game.
The Kohawks jumped on the board with a run in the first before BVU came back and took its first lead of the game with an RBI single from Joe Rock and a run-scoring double from Porter Sartor. The lead was short lived, however, as Coe came right back with a pair of runs in the home half.
LaRue scattered six hits and was charged with three runs over his five innings en route to a no-decision. Christian was charged with the loss (0-1) after allowing a run on two hits in his 2.2 innings of work.
BVU finished with eight hits in the contest which also included Rennings team-leading fifth triple of the year.
Buena Vista (14-22) will now face fourth-seed Loras in the first elimination game of the tournament tonight at 8:00pm. The Duhawks were blanked by fifth-seed Luther, 7-0, in the other early game.