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Central snags league series in baseball split at Loras

Baseball | March 31, 2012

DUBUQUE — Central College grabbed a 4-3 victory against Loras College Saturday, rallying after a 10-3 setback and capturing the three-game Iowa Conference baseball series at Dubuque.

The Dutch, improving to 15-4 overall and 5-1 in the league, won the nine-inning matchup Friday night, 5-0.

Shortstop Mike Furlong (senior, Davenport, Assumption HS) sparked the offense in Saturday’s second game, belting a two-run homer to left field in the first inning. His blast let him top the school career record for most runs scored (160) and tie the mark for most hits (207). Ben Tressel set the previous runs scored record with 159 (2007-10) and Furlong shares the hits mark with Adam Duerfeldt (2003-06).

“Mike’s home run calmed us down and was a good way to start the second game,” coach Adam Stevens said.

Loras (9-9 overall, 1-4 conference) responded with a run in the first and added a tally in the third and fourth, but Central posted two runs in the fifth. Catcher Josh Stanton (senior, Homer Glen, Ill., Lockport Township HS) drove in first baseman Seth Carson (sophomore, Woodridge, Ill., Downers Grove South HS) with a sacrifice fly and center fielder Sam Stetzel (junior, Perry) brought in Michael Jontz (junior, West Des Moines, Valley HS) with a single.

The Duhawks outhit Central 10-6 but the Dutch had five stolen bases, recording four in the fifth inning.

“We had a better approach offensively, ran the bases well and played solid defense,” Stevens said.

Dirk Lindaman (junior, Ankeny) took the win on the mound, tossing four innings. He yielded eight hits and three runs, two earned, while walking one and striking out four. Judson McKown (sophomore, Maple Plain, Minn., Orono HS) had the save, pitching three innings and striking out four while allowing two hits.

“Dirk threw well all four innings,” Stevens said. “Judson had to get nine outs and he competed his tail off. That’s what he’s been doing all year.”

Central jumped out early in the opener, posting two runs in the first inning. Jontz walked and stole second before scoring off a Stetzel double. Second baseman Adam Ariola (sophomore, Bloomington, Ill., Normal HS) drove in Stetzel on a sacrifice fly.

Loras notched three runs in its half of the inning and broke the game open with a seven-run sixth inning.

Central outhit the Duhawks 7-5, but committed four errors defensively.

“We just didn’t play sharp defense,” Stevens said. “It’s not like us, but at the same time, give Loras credit. They played well and took advantage of our lapses.”

Ryan Goetzinger (junior, Mason City) was charged with the loss, giving up four hits and nine runs, just one earned. He struck out eight and walked two in 5.2 innings. Bret Bell (senior, Jewell, South Hamilton HS) threw 0.1 innings and struck out one while allowing one run.

Stevens was encouraged by the comeback victory.

“Loras had the momentum going into the second game and we found a way to carve out a one-run win,” Stevens said. “We didn’t play our best but we found a way to win a game and take the series.”

Central hosts Simpson College (11-9 overall, 5-1 conference) Tuesday at the A.N. Kuyper Athletics Complex in Pella. The seven-inning doubleheader is slated to begin at 1 p.m.

Central College