Michael Dirkx threw his first collegiate nine-inning complete game, Brad Blum went 3-for-3 with two RBI and two runs scored, to help lead the Buena Vista baseball team to a convincing 7-1 victory over Illinois Wesleyan (27-17) on Thursday night in a rematch of last year's championship game of the Central Regional Tournament.
Blum wasted no time getting the offense going taking an outside pitch over the head of the right fielder for a lead-off double in the first. After Brock Yossi bunted him over to third, senior Mike Hoffman gave the Beavers a 1-0 lead with a sacrifice fly to center.
The Titans came back and squared things up at 1-1 in the third with a two-out RBI double.
A lead-off double by Tyler Case in the bottom of the frame turned into the second run for BVU. Blum moved him up to third with a sacrifice bunt before Yossi drove him in with an RBI single through the left side of a drawn in infield.
The Beavers pushed the advantage to 4-1 in the fifth when they plated two more runs. Andy Compton reached on an error by the third baseman on a bunt attempt and later scored from second when Blum lined a 3-2 pitch with two outs to left for his second hit of the night. Blum, who advanced to second on the throw, then scored when Yossi singled past the glove of the Titan first baseman.
The lead-off man reached yet again for BVU in the seventh when Dylan Colo was hit on the elbow on the first pitch he saw. Case moved him up to second on the team's fourth sacrifice bunt of the game and scored on Blum's third hit of the contest.
Kloewer, who hit the ball each time up with nothing to show for it, made up for it in the eighth when he doubled off the left field fence. He then scored on an RBI single from Ryan Scheetz for a 6-1 lead before Compton's sacrifice fly scored Scheetz for the game's final run.
Dirkx, who scattered seven hits and forced 16 ground ball outs en route to his fourth win of the year, sat the Titans, who lost for just the second time in their last 11 NCAA contests, down in order in the ninth to finish things off.
Yossi finished with two hits and a pair of RBI, while Scheetz and Paletta also turned in a pair of base nocks for BVU.
Buena Vista, now the only unbeaten team left in the Regional, improves to 30-15 on the year and will now play tomorrow night at 5 p.m. against the winner of tomorrow's first game between Ripon and Illinois Wesleyan which gets underway at 10:00am.