2012 Iowa Conference champions
PELLA — Once again, the Dutch found a way.
Down one run with two outs and no runners on base in the extra inning, the Central College baseball team ripped three straight hits to drive in two runs and edge Simpson College 4-3 in an Iowa Conference doubleheader sweep. The Dutch won the opener 7-2.
Central right fielder Allen Mann (junior, Marshalltown) sparked the rally with a single to left center and advanced to second on a throwing error. First baseman Seth Carson (sophomore, Woodridge, Ill., Downers Grove South HS) knocked a hard single to shortstop. He stole second before catcher Max Seeman (senior, Panora, Panorama HS) delivered the walk-off blast up the middle, bringing in the game-winning run.
“Never question the heart of this team,” coach Adam Stevens said. “That’s three walk-off wins we’ve had in the conference. That’s pretty rare and says a lot about our players’ competitiveness. We’re never out of a game and that showed today.”
Joel Pulliam (senior, Des Moines, Lincoln HS) secured the victory on the mound, pitching the last three innings. He gave up three hits and had one strikeout, improving to 5-0. Judson McKown (sophomore, Maple Plain, Minn., Orono HS) started, allowing six hits and two earned runs in five innings of work, the first earned runs he has allowed in 26.2 innings this season. He struck out five and walked one.
The Dutch also rallied in the opener. Simpson (11-11 overall, 5-3 conference) struck quickly, blasting a home run in the first inning and posting another run with the help of a Central error. But the Dutch held the Storm scoreless the rest of the way while notching tallies in the first, third and fourth innings before breaking things open with two runs in both the sixth and seventh.
Shortstop Mike Furlong (senior, Davenport, Assumption HS) knocked a single up the middle in the fifth inning, becoming Central’s all-time career hits leader. He surpassed the 207 mark set by Adam Duerfeldt from 2003-06 and stands at 209.
“Mike’s been outstanding,” Stevens said. “He’s always trying to improve and that’s the mark of a great player. I don’t even know if Mike cares much about that (the record) but I think he will someday.”
Seeman blasted his first career home run in the sixth inning, a shot to left field, and behind the plate he plucked two runners attempting to steal. Seeman finished 3-for-3 for the day and drove in three runs.
“Max was great today and is somebody that has really improved in his career,” Stevens said. “He’s a great leader for us and deserves a day like this.”
Ryan Dusil (sophomore, Cedar Rapids, Kennedy HS) tossed the victory, allowing six hits and two runs, one earned, in four innings, upping his record to 3-0. He struck out three and walked one. Mike Werkheiser (senior, Stockton, Ill.) recorded his first save of the year, pitching three innings. He scattered three hits and had three strikeouts.
Central (17-4 overall, 7-1 conference) continues conference action with a three-game weekend series at the Univ. of Dubuque, beginning with a nine-inning game Friday at 6 p.m. The Spartans are 14-8 overall with a 3-4 league mark coming off a 6-1 win over Cornell College Tuesday.