2012 Iowa Conference champions
PELLA—Despite forcing extra innings for its third straight outing, timely hits eluded the Central College baseball team as the Dutch were swept by Simpson College 4-3 in 11 innings and 5-3 Tuesday in Iowa Conference play.
Designated hitter Robbie Rushing blasted the game-tying run in the opener, going yard over the left-field fence. The home run, Central’s second of the year, tied the score at 3-3 in the fifth inning. Both teams were scoreless until the 11th, when Simpson broke through with double and scored on a ground out.
"We had the winning run in scoring position several times but couldn’t come up with the big hit,” coach Adam Stevens said. “It’s been that same story the last couple of games."
Simpson grabbed a 2-0 lead in the third inning before Central matched the Storm in the fourth, getting RBIs from shortstop Jordan Judkins (junior, Marshalltown) and catcher Jace Ahrendsen (junior, Clarence, North Cedar HS).
Central reliever Judson McKown (junior, Maple Plain, Minn., Orono HS) (3-5) took the loss, giving up three hits and one earned run in five innings. He walked one and struck out four. Starting pitcher Ryan Goetzinger (senior, Mason City) threw six innings and allowed no earned runs on six hits. He fanned seven and walked three.
Central also forced extra innings in the first game of two doubleheaders against Buena Vista last weekend.
In the nightcap, the Dutch jumped on top in the second frame when first baseman Seth Carson (senior, Woodridge, Ill, Downers Grove South HS) belted a single up the middle and scored on an Ahrendsen sacrifice fly. Simpson posted a run in the fourth before Central answered with two tallies in the bottom half of the inning. Pinch hitter Grant Seuferer (junior, Milo, Southeast Warren HS) and right fielder Michael Jontz (senior, West Des Moines, Valley HS) each drove in runs. But Simpson rapped out four runs in the fifth with the help of two Dutch errors, a walk and a hit batter.
Freshman pitcher Mark Schroeder (Chariton) was charged with the loss and slipped to 4-1. He yielded two earned runs on two hits and walked one.
Central outhit the Storm 18-15 for the doubleheader but committed eight errors to Simpson’s one. Rushing went 5-for-9 with a run scored and Rushing was 4-for-9 with a run and RBI.
“Give Simpson credit, they played a lot better than we did today in every phase of the game,” Stevens said.
The two teams split the four-game series after Central claimed the doubleheader at Simpson April 15. Central fell to 17-16 overall with a 9-13 conference mark while the Storm improved to 13-10 overall and 9-15 in the league.
Central closes the regular season this weekend against Luther College at Decorah. The series is slated to begin at 1 p.m. Friday.
“Luther is a solid team, especially on the mound,” Stevens said. “Hopefully we can play the game the way we’re capable.”
The Norse slipped to 13-19 overall with a 9-15 league mark Tuesday after dropping a twinbill to No. 20 Wartburg College. The victories secured the conference title for the Knights.