Baseball Splits a Pair in IIAC Opener with #15-ranked Buena Vista

Mar 27, 2015

DUBUQUE, Iowa - The University of Dubuque baseball team let slip a 2-0 lead in 7-4 defeat to IIAC favorite #15 Buena Vista in game one, but bounced back with an 8-4 victory in the night cap on Friday afternoon.

Game One
Buena Vista wins 7-4

Spartan starter Josh Eastman came out firing and stymied the Beaver bats with six strikeouts in a scoreless, first three innings. On the offensive side of the ball, CF Daniel Casanova and LF Trace Florek scored a pair of runs in the first and second inning, respectively, after utilizing a pair of Buena Vista (11-1, 1-0 Iowa Conference) errors to put the Spartans up 2-0 after three innings.

Buena Vista's bats woke up in the top of the fourth after four straight singles and later, a double, contributed to a four-run outbreak. UD responded with a pair of back-to-back doubles by C Will Doherty and 2B Will Fogel that eventually scored both to pull UD to a 4-4 tie. 

Three runs in the top of the sixth were too much as the Beavers pulled away for the 7-4 victory. 

Eastman (1-2) gave up seven hits and seven earned runs in 5.1 innings of work while striking out a season-high eight batters. Fogel, Casanova, and DH Dalton Garst all finished with one RBI each for the Spartans.

Reigning IIAC Male Athlete of the Week, 1B Eric Gurbacki, paced the Beavers with two hits, one run, and three RBIs in the win. Beaver starter Justin Lange (4-0), named to's National Team of the Week last week, earned the win after tossing 6.0 innings while giving up four runs (two earned) and six hits.

Game Two
Spartans win 8-4

Once again, the Spartans (6-8, 1-1 Iowa Conference) jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead after the first inning thanks to a Buena Vista error. Leading off, Florek reached on the fielding miscue and scored on the first of four singles from CF Casanova. Spartan first basemen Austin McWhite brought Casanova home with a single through the left side. Designated hitter and UD starter Dalton Garst plated the Spartans third run after C Doherty was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.

Down 4-1 in the top of the fifth and trying to play the comeback role again, the Beavers rallied for three runs. Two of the runs were unearned off a crucial Spartan error and tied the game up at 4-all. 

The Spartans held their ground and plated four unanswered with one run in the bottom of the fifth and three in the bottom of the eighth to hand Buena Vista (11-2, 1-1 Iowa Conference) their second loss of the season, 8-4. First basemen Austin McWhite's two-RBI single with the bases loaded fueled the three-run burst.

The Spartans could have had more after stranding 12 men on base, including leaving the bases loaded in the first, fifth, and eighth innings.

UD countered its three errors in the field with 11 total hits. CF Casanova finished 4-for-4 at the dish, all singles, scored two runs, and brought home one RBI. First basemen McWhite went 3-for-4 with two runs and a game-high three RBIs. Casanova and McWhite combined for two of the four UD stolen bases.

After setting a UD single-season record with 28 stolen bases a year ago, Casanova leads the team with nine steals and a .492 on-base percentage on the season.

UD starter Garst (3-0) remained undefeated after giving up four runs (two earned) and six hits in 5.0 innings of work. RHP Doug Van Dyke (S, 1) nabbed his first save of the season after tossing 4.0 scoreless innings of relief.

The Beavers were led by two-hole hitter, LF Brandon Wessels, who racked up three hits, one run scored, and one RBI.

UD dropped to 36-76 all-time against the Beavers. It was the Spartans first win over BVU in the last seven meetings.

The Spartans face Buena Vista in doubleheader on Saturday, March 28 starting at 1:00 p.m.