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Gritsch lifts Central in baseball split

Baseball | April 13, 2013

CEDAR RAPIDS—The Central College baseball team used a three-run double from freshman Spencer Gritsch (Brooklyn, BGM) to earn a 7-4 triumph against Coe College after suffering a 6-4 setback in the opener of an Iowa Conference doubleheader Saturday.

After back-to-back singles and walk in the eighth inning, Gritsch launched a two-out double to left center to drive in three runs and give Central a 6-2 lead.

“That was the play of the game,” coach Adam Stevens said. “He had two strikes against a good pitcher and Spencer hit the ball as hard as we’ve seen from him. It couldn’t have come at a better time.”

Central (13-6 overall, 5-3 conference) had posted on three runs in the fourth, scoring two on a throwing error and one on an Andrew O’Toole (junior, Des Moines, Lincoln HS) groundout. Coe (13-7 overall, 8-2 conference) jumped to a 1-0 lead in the first inning and added single tallies in the sixth, eighth and ninth frames. The Kohawks had bases loaded in the final inning but relief pitcher Judson McKown (junior, Maple Plain, Minn., Orono HS) forced a groundout to end any hint of a Coe comeback.

Junior ace Ryan Dusil (Cedar Rapids, Kennedy HS) remained perfect on the year, improving to 3-0. He gave up one earned run on five hits in 5.2 innings and walked one. McKown notched his fourth save of the season. He tossed 3.1 innings and allowed two runs on five hits while fanning two batters.

“Ryan gave us a really solid start, kept us in the game and left with the lead,” Stevens said. “Judson continued to do what he’s done all year and battled at the end.”

In the opener, Central grabbed an early 3-0 lead with a run in the second inning and two in the third. Coe evened the score with a three-run third and both teams added a run in the fourth before the Kohawks posted two runs in the fifth.

“We had the lead but they came back with big hits and we made a couple mistakes here and there,” Stevens said. “We left too many on base, but had solid at-bats against a good pitcher. We just couldn’t quite get it done in the clutch.”

Senior Ryan Goetzinger (Mason City) was charged with the loss and slipped to 1-1. He surrendered five earned runs on seven hits while striking out a pair and walking three. Freshman Mark Schroeder (Chariton) closed in the sixth inning and walked one.

Second baseman Adam Ariola (junior, Bloomington, Ill., Normal HS) tallied five hits on the day with two runs and an RBI while shortstop Robbie Rushing (junior, West Des Moines, Valley HS) went 4-for-6 with two runs scored and an RBI.

“They’ve both done a good job in practice and it’s starting to show through on the field,” Stevens said.

Stevens was pleased to see the Dutch bounce back against last year’s conference tournament champions.

“Coe’s a good team and we knew it’d be a battle, but it’s a tough thing to do after game one,” he said. “It was nice to see us respond and take the lead with a couple of big hits we didn’t get earlier.”

The two teams wrap up the four-game series Sunday. First pitch of the doubleheader is set for 1 p.m. at Cedar Rapids.


Central College