2012 Iowa Conference champions
WINTER HAVEN, FLA.— After a morning rain delay Wednesday, Central College used a great start from senior Dirk Lindaman (Ankeny) for a 6-2 triumph against Ripon College (Wis.) and six-run, fifth inning for a 12-7 win over Rhodes College (Tenn.).
Ripon (1-5) jumped to a 2-0 lead after the first inning and threatened again in the fifth with bases loaded and no outs, but Lindaman scored back-to-back strikeouts and forced a ground ball to second base to end the inning. Lindaman gave up seven hits and two earned runs in six innings of work. He struck out three.
“Dirk competed his tail off and limited the damage early,” coach Adam Stevens said. “He’s one of our best competitors on the mound and it was good to see him get out of some jams.”
Central took the lead in the fifth. First baseman Seth Carson (senior, Woodridge, Ill., Downers Grove South HS) got on base with a hit pitch and advanced to second when second baseman Adam Ariola (junior, Bloomington, Ill., Normal HS) drew a walk. Designated hitter Andrew O’Toole (junior, Des Moines, Lincoln HS) belted a double down the third baseline to score Carson. Catcher Jace Ahrendsen (junior, Clarence, North Cedar HS) followed with a single to center field, driving in Ariola and O’Toole.
Central added on another run in the eight and two in the ninth, which were highlighted by a Robbie Rushing (shortstop, junior, West Des Moines, Valley HS) hit and run which brought in pitcher Michael Jontz (senior, West Des Moines, Valley HS).
Jontz tossed the last three innings, allowing two hits while fanning two.
The Dutch also rallied in the nightcap. Central opened with three runs but Rhodes matched the Dutch with three tallies of their own to go up 4-3 in the second inning. Central regained the lead after Jontz punched a single to center field, stole two bases and scored on a Rushing ground out.
The Dutch tacked on two more runs in the third and erupted for six runs in the fifth, taking a 12-4 lead. Third baseman Jordan Judkins (junior, Marshalltown) closed the fifth with a two-run shot to left field.
“The wind was blowing out a bit so we knew both teams would score a lot,” Stevens said.
Rhodes (9-9) fired back with a two-run home run in the seventh and a run in the eighth, but wasn't able to catch up to the Dutch.
“Rhodes is a good team and we never really felt comfortable until it was over,” Stevens said. “It was a good, quality win for us.”
Junior Ryan Dusil (Cedar Rapids, Kennedy HS) picked up his second win on the mound. He threw six innings and yielded nine hits and four earned runs while striking out two and walking two. Sophomore Andy Carr (Rockford, Ill., Rockford Lutheran HS) made an appearance and gave up four hits and two earned runs. Freshman Mark Schroeder (Chariton) closed with two hits and one earned run in 2.2 innings.
“Ryan pitched on a day where he didn’t have his best stuff but he battled through six innings and kept us in the game," Stevens said.
Carson went 3-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored while Judkins was 1-for-4 with 3 RBI and a run.
The Dutch (6-1) have a quick turnaround, returning to the diamond Thursday at 9:30 a.m. (EST) for a matchup against St. Norbert College (Wis.). The Green Knights (3-2) won the Midwest Conference last year and made their third NCAA Division III tournament berth.