SPORTS

Buena Vista rolls to IIAC tournament title

Mercy rules Central to win it all

Buena Vista's Bryce Wessels (9) and Ryan Titman (1) are congratulated by teammates after both scoring runs against Central during the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Baseball Tournament championship game at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Cedar Rapids on Saturday, May 10, 2014. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette-KCRG TV9)
Buena Vista's Bryce Wessels (9) and Ryan Titman (1) are congratulated by teammates after both scoring runs against Central during the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Baseball Tournament championship game at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Cedar Rapids on Saturday, May 10, 2014. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette-KCRG TV9)

CEDAR RAPIDS — Neil Marshall hasn’t cut his hair in awhile.

“About a year and a half,” the shaggy and bearded center fielder from Buena Vista estimated. “Had it trimmed up a little bit, but that’s it. I’m not going to cut it now.”

Or shave now, either. Superstitions are powerful things.

Buena Vista’s baseball team is on a roll, and you don’t want to mess with that mojo. The Beavers powered their way to the Iowa Conference Tournament championship Saturday afternoon with a 10-0, seven-inning win over Central at Veterans Memorial Stadium.

BV (36-7) had an if-necessary game to work with but didn’t come close to needing it. Central (28-16) made it to the championship game with a win Saturday morning over Loras but ran out of pitching.

And ran into a really good team.

“Every single game we’ve played it like it’s the only one we have left in the season,” said Buena Vista Coach Steve Eddie. “They have had just such a consistent mindset all year. Even halfway through the year, we weren’t playing great, but we seemed to be getting better every weekend. We’ve only lost two nine-inning games all year, so we feel like we’re just going to continue to get better the longer the game goes.”

Buena Vista needed a rally in the late innings to subdue Loras in its first tournament game Thursday night, 6-1, but 10-runned its next two opponents to win it all with a flourish. Eddie guessed his team would be sent to a NCAA DIvision III regional this coming weekend hosted by Augustana College of Moline, Ill.

Don’t be against these guys. They have deep pitching and a solid lineup.

Marshall had three of his team’s 13 hits, producing a two-run single in the seventh that ended the game via mercy rule. Tanner Truesdell also had three hits and an RBI in a five-run second inning.

Justin Lange, Cam Beatty and Jacob Hadaway combined for a two-hitter on the mound.

“I thought we played a little bit tentative in our first game. Kind of feeling things out instead of putting the hammer down,” Eddie said. “But I thought we did a real nice job of hitting it our last two games. We played two and a half pretty good games here.”

This was Buena Vista’s first IIAC tourney title since 2010.

l Comments: (319) 398-8259; jeff.johnson@sourcemedia.net

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