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Carson delivers as Central rallies for baseball sweep

Baseball | March 9, 2013

FORT MYERS, FLA.— First baseman Seth Carson (senior, Woodridge, Ill., Downers Grove South HS) twice scored the game-winning run as Central College rallied for 15-11 (8 inn.) and 4-2 comeback wins in a baseball sweep against Newbury College (Mass.) Saturday.

The Dutch (4-0) erupted for two five-run innings in the opener but saw two leads disappear as Newbury (3-5) battled back. A two-run seventh from the Nighthawks sent the game in extra innings at 11-11.

Carson opened the eighth frame with a single, advanced on a passed ball and scored on a hit from third baseman Jordan Judkins (junior, Marshalltown). Judkins reached second on a Spencer Gritsch (freshman, Brooklyn, BGM HS) single and both runners advanced on a passed ball before crossing the plate on a single from catcher Jace Ahrendsen (junior, Clarence, North Cedar HS), who later scored on an error.

In his Central pitching debut, Robbie Rushing (junior, West Des Moines, Valley HS) forced three straight outs in the bottom of the inning capture the win. Rushing tossed 2.1 innings, allowing one hit and two earned runs while striking out one and walking one. Ryan Goetzinger (senior, Mason City) had the start and gave up nine hits and five earned runs in 4.1 innings of work. He fanned three and struck out five. Andy Carr (sophomore, Rockford, Ill., Rockford Lutheran HS) also made an appearance, giving up two hits in 1.1 innings.

Central outhit Newbury 13-12 and left eight runners on base. Seven batters were hit by pitches. Defensively, the Dutch committed two errors.

“It was a really sloppy game on both sides,” coach Adam Stevens said. “But the positive is we came back two different times to get the lead and managed to win when we weren’t playing our best.”

The nightcap was also dramatic. Central held a 2-0 lead after the third but Newbury added a tally in both the fifth and sixth innings to tie the score. In the bottom of the sixth, Carson again led off and got on base by a hit pitch. He advanced to second on a sacrifice and stole third. Designated hitter Andrew O’Toole (junior, Des Moines, Lincoln HS) doubled to drive in Carson, along with Adam Ariola (junior, Bloomington, Ill., Normal HS), who reached by a hit pitch.

Needing just three outs for the win, freshman Mark Schroeder (Chariton) forced two ground outs before giving up a single. The Dutch secured the win with a fielder’s choice at second base.

“Give our players credit, they came back again,” Stevens said. “Both teams hit the ball hard all game, but we really ran the bases well and played great defense. That’s the type of team we want to be.”

Schroeder tossed 1.1 innings for the win and yielded one hit and a walk. Freshman Matt Schissel (Rock Island, Ill., Alleman HS) started on the mound and allowed seven hits, three walks and two earned runs in 5.2 innings.

“They both handled their first college outings well,” Stevens said.

Newbury had eight hits to Central’s three. The Dutch stole four bases and had no errors defensively.

Carson finished the day 1-for-6 with an RBI and scored three times.

“Seth had a good day, playing great defense and running the bases,” Stevens said. “He’s one of our best and smartest base runners and it set the tone.”

O’Toole went 2-for-3 with an RBI.

“Andrew had clutch hits in both games,” Stevens said. “He’s worked hard and it’s nice to see him have some success.”

Ahrendsen went 3-for-5 in the opener, driving in two runs and scoring twice. Judkins went 4-for-6 for the day, going 4-for-4 in the first game, with three RBIs and two runs scored.                             

Central is back on the field at 10 a.m. Sunday (Eastern Time), facing Olivet (Mich.).  The Comets are 2-0.


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