Buena Vista University baseball coach Steve Eddie had good reason to be concerned about his team's lack of offense going into Saturday's double header here against Loras College.
In going 0-4 through the first four conference games, his team had scored a total of six runs.
"We really needed to get our bats going, and we were able to do that Saturday," Eddie said. "A lot of guys in our lineup got some big hits in both games."
The Beavers swept Loras College in two old fashioned slugfests, winning game one 10-6 and game two 14-10.
"We didn't face the quality of pitching Saturday that we did in our first four games," Eddie said. "But the guys came out aggressive and we scored some runs to go ahead early.
"We had a few too many errors and walks, but it's good to get on the board with two conference wins. We think this is something we can build on, especially when it comes to our offense."
With the wins, BVU improved to 2-4 in the Iowa Conference and to 10-14 overall.
In game one, the Beavers banged out 10 hits and took advantage of three errors by Loras, which dropped to 1-5 in conference play and to 5-16 overall.
"In game one, BVU opened with two runs in the top of the first on a two run homer by rightfielder Mike Koenecke.
Loras came back with some timely hitting of its own, scoring two runs in the bottom of the second off Beaver starter Mike Soenen.
BVU answered with three runs in the top of the third on a two-run double by third baseman Derek Fink and and a run-scoring fielder's choice. The Beavers added two more in the fifth for a 7-2 lead on a two-run homer by first baseman Ben Lickteig.
BVU scored three more insurance runs in the top of the sixth with the big hit being a two-run double down the left field line by leadoff hitter Joe Poole. Shortstop Brian Ricken also had an RBI-single in the inning.
"We had big leads in both games," added Eddie, "so I don't know if the games were as close as the score might have indicated."
Loras scored four runs in the bottom of the sixth on three hits and one BVU error.
Soenen picked up the victory, giving up just five hits and two earned runs through five and a third frames. He struck out three and walked two.
BVU righthander Dan Reis pitched the last inning and two thirds, allowing no runs and just one hit.
In game two, the Beavers had to come from behind.
After a scoreless first two innings, BVU scored four times in the top of the third, with three coming on a three-run homer by Lickteig and one more on Koenecke's second homer of the day.
The Beavers went up 6-0 with two more runs in the top of the fourth, with one scoring on an error and another on a sacrifice fly by Poole.
Loras came back to take the lead on the strength of a big inning, scoring nine runs on six hits and an error in the bottom of the fourth for a 9-6 lead. Loras added a single run in the bottom of the fifth.
The Beavers wasted little time compiling a big inning their own. They scored eight times in the sixth on seven hits and three errors.
First baseman Adam Hardie started things off with a bunt single. Ricken hit an RBI double, and Poole, with his second hit of the inning, singled another run home.
BVU righthander Zach Habben went the first three and a third innings on the mound, yielding six runs (five were earned) on two hits and five walks. Adam Rath relieved for the win. Reis again served as closer.
Lickteig led the BVU offense with four RBI on a two for five performance. Ricken went 3 for 4 with an RBI.
The Beavers play a non-conference game today at Morningside, then face an important conference doubleheader Saturday at Luther. "We've played two of the tougher teams in the conference, Wartburg and Coe, and Luther is probably on par with them," Eddie said.