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Central cracks baseball rankings

Baseball | April 17, 2012

PELLA —For the second time in school history, the Central College baseball team has cracked the national rankings, debuting in a tie for No. 30 in the American Baseball Coaches Association/Collegiate Baseball NCAA Division III poll.

The Dutch took a 23-5 record into Tuesday’s non-conference game with Grinnell College. The squad has a four-game lead in the Iowa Conference standings with a 13-2 mark, but has a pivotal three-game series with second-place Coe College (17-10 overall, 9-6 conference) Friday and Saturday in Pella.

Central is the only league school in the top 30. Defending champion Marietta College (Ohio) is No. 1. The Dutch share 30th with William Paterson University. (N.J.) (21-23).

Central was last ranked at No. 16 in 2006, when the Dutch captured a share of the Iowa Conference title, finishing 26-14 overall and 11-5 in the league. Central also shared the crown in 1975 but hasn’t won an outright championship since 1948.

NCAA statistical leaders—The Dutch are also prominent in the NCAA Division III statistical rankings released April 15. Central leads the nation in earned run average (1.85). Marietta follows in second (1.91). The Dutch are fourth in hits allowed (6.9 per nine innings), 11th in sacrifice bunts (36) and 13th in win-loss percentage (.821).

In individual statistics, sophomore pitcher Judson McKown (Maple Plain, Minn., Orono HS) is the earned run average leader (0.54). Second baseman Adam Ariola (sophomore, Bloomington, Ill., Normal HS) is fifth in sacrifice flies (6).

Records watch—The Dutch have 11 regular-season games remaining and are just four wins shy of their all-time season wins record, set by the 2010 club (27).

Shortstop Mike Furlong (senior, Davenport, Assumption HS) is 11-for-11 in stolen bases this season and needs one more to top Central’s all-time career list. He currently shares the record with 50. Furlong stands second in career bases (318), fourth in games started (147) and eighth in RBIs (109). He’s already topped five career leaderboards this season for hits (215), at bats (567), runs scored (167), triples (13) and stolen base attempts (58).

Pitcher Joel Pulliam (senior, Des Moines, Lincoln HS) ranks second on the school’s all-time career strikeouts leaderboard (207) and needs to fan 12 batters to top the mark. He is sixth in season strikeouts (58) and already holds the record with 85 strikeouts in 2011. Earlier this year Pulliam became the career shutouts leader (5).  

American Baseball Coaches Association/Collegiate Baseball
NCAA Division III Baseball Poll
April 17, 2012
Next poll: April 24
Rank   School                                      Record            Points Prev.
1.         Marietta (Ohio) (8)                   22-4                 240      1
2.         Christopher Newport (Va.)      29-6                 222      2
3.         Salisbury (Md.)                        26-6                 219      3
4.         Trinity (Texas)                         29-6                 212      5
5.         Concordia (Texas)                   30-6                 210      4
6.         Wheaton (Mass.)                      25-4                 201      6
7.         St. Thomas (Minn.)                  22-4                 200      7
8.         Cortland (N.Y.) State               22-7-1              178      8
9.         Keystone (Pa.)                        23-4                 172      11
10.       Kean (N.J.)                              23-7                 171      9
11.       DePauw (Ind.)                         27-5                142      14
12.       Birmingham-Southern (Ala.)    28-6                 139      17
13.       Misericordia (Pa.)                    26-5                 125      10
14.       Adrian (Mich.)                          21-6                 123      13
15.       Eastern Connecticut State        19-6                 121      15
16.       Shenandoah (Va.)                    26-10               119      12
17.       St. Joseph’s (Maine)                25-3                 118      16
18.       Ithaca (N.Y.)                            18-4-1              108      19
19.       Washington (Mo.) University   23-7                 75        24
20.       Wis.-Stevens Point                   18-8                 65        20
21.       Amherst (Mass.)                      17-5                 62        28
22.       Lynchburg (Va.)                      28-7                 51        26
23.       Trinity (Conn.)                         21-6                 50        29
24.       North Park (Ill.)                       22-7                 45        18
25.       Concordia-Chicago                  21-7                 43        25
26.       Linfield (Ore.)                          21-10               35        21
27.       Texas-Tyler                             29-8                 27        rv
28.       Baldwin-Wallace (Ohio)          23-6                 26        nr
29.       Wis.-Whitewater                    17-6                 25        nr
30t.      William Paterson (N.J.)            22-8                 21        23
30t.      Central (Iowa)                     23-5                 21        rv


Central College