2012 Iowa Conference champions
PELLA—Loras College kept the Central College bats as cool as the temperature Monday as the Dutch threatened more than scored, falling 11-0 and 8-6 to the Duhawks in the Iowa Conference opener for both squads.
The four-game series was postponed from March and shortened to one doubleheader of a seven-inning game followed by a nine-inning game because of scheduling and the Easter holiday. The teams endured chilly temperatures in the 30s with wind.
In the nightcap, Central (7-5 overall, 0-2 conference) overcame a 2-0 Loras lead with a four-run third inning. Center fielder Sam Stetzel (senior, Perry) sparked a chain of four-straight singles and after a pitching change, the Dutch tacked on three more runs with a hit pitch, groundout and wild pitch for a 5-2 advantage.
Loras (8-3 overall, 2-0 conference) responded with two in the third inning before Stetzel scored again on a wild pitch to go up 6-4. But the Duhawks posted a three-run fifth for control of the lead and added a security run in the seventh while keeping the Dutch off the scoreboard. Central left 13 runners on base.
“We got some things going in the second game but Loras had a couple of two-out hits to pull them ahead,” coach Adam Stevens said.
Junior hurler Judson McKown (Maple Plain, Minn., Orono HS) was charged with the loss, giving up two earned runs and five hits in five innings while fanning five and walking one. Starter Ryan Dusil (junior, Cedar Rapids, Kennedy HS) allowed three earned runs on five hits with no walks and three strikeouts.
In the opener, the Duhawks pounded out two five-run innings in the second and sixth frames and added a tally in the seventh. Loras outhit the Dutch 9-3.
“We flat out weren’t ready to play in game one, me included,” Stevens said. “It was a disappointing effort.”
Dirk Lindaman (senior, Ankeny) took the loss on the mound, yielding seven earned runs and six hits in 5.1 innings. He struck out six and walked four. Robbie Rushing (junior, West Des Moines, Valley HS) closed, allowing three earned runs and three hits in 1.2 innings while walking two and striking out one.
Stetzel went 4-for-6 for the day and scored twice while catcher Jace Ahrendsen (junior, Clarence, North Cedar HS) finished 2-for-5 with an RBI. Central committed four errors in each game.
“Loras has a good pitching staff and came into the doubleheader with a team ERA of 1.0,” Stevens said. “We just weren’t sharp offensively and with a team like that, you can’t give them anything defensively. We didn’t compete well.”
Central has little time to recover, facing Cornell College (2-8) Tuesday at Mount Vernon. First pitch is set for 5 p.m.
“We need to dig deep and show what we’re made of and we need the seniors to help get us back at it tomorrow,” Stevens said.