2012 Iowa Conference champions
FORT MYERS, FLA.—Central College rallied for four runs in the final three innings but came up short in a 6-4 baseball setback to Olivet College (Mich.) Sunday.
The Comets plated two runs in the third, fourth and sixth innings to go up 6-0 before the Central offense broke through. Right fielder Allen Mann (senior, Marshalltown) ended the scoring drought, getting on base with a walk in the seventh before advancing to third on a fielder’s choice and crossing the plate on a wild pitch.
The Dutch added another tally in the eighth inning when third baseman Jordan Judkins (junior, Marshalltown) walked and scored on hit pitch by pinch hitter Grant Seuferer (freshman, Chariton). In the final frame, center fielder Sam Stetzel (senior, Perry) belted a single and advanced on a Robbie Rushing (shortstop, junior, West Des Moines, Valley HS) walk. Both scored on a Judkins single. The Dutch had two outs remaining but Olivet enticed a double play to preserve the win.
“Baseball can be a cruel game,” coach Adam Steven said. “Our players fought until the last out but we just came up short. Even though he hit the ball hard consistently, we hit right at (Olivet) guys. We couldn’t find the holes today.”
The Comets (3-0) tallied 11 hits to Central’s 10. The Dutch (4-1) took advantage of eight Olivet walks but left 11 on base. The Central defense had one error.
“We had a few mistakes that cost us but I really liked our energy and intensity today,” Stevens said.
Freshman hurler Ryan Deuel (Truro, I-35 HS) was charged with the loss. He allowed 10 hits and five earned runs in six innings while striking out four and walking seven. James Longo Jr. (junior, Ankeny) appeared for one inning and gave up one hit and a walk. Judson McKown (junior, Maple Plain, Minn., Orono HS) tossed the final two frames, giving up no hits and no runs and fanning five.
“As a pitching staff we walked too many batters today,” Stevens said. “We have a really good defense and we’re trying to get that across to our pitchers. We need to be in the zone more and hopefully that will improve in the next week.”
Judkins, who is batting a team-high .563, went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and scored twice.
“Jordan has been really consistent,” Stevens said. “We need to get a few other players going like that this week.”
Left fielder Michael Jontz (senior, West Des Moines Valley HS) was 3-for-5 and Stetzel was 2-for-4 with a run scored.
The Dutch continue spring break play Tuesday at Winter Haven, Fla., at the Russ Matt Invitational. Central faces No. 20 Webster at 3 p.m. (EST). The Gorloks are 2-4 and meet No. 1 Wheaton (Mass.) and No. 3 Cortland State (N.Y.) before Tuesday’s contest.