2012 Iowa Conference champions
DUBUQUE— The Central College baseball team erupted with an early start against Luther College in the four-game Iowa Conference series, capturing the first game Sunday, 14-1. But, the Dutch momentum fell in the nightcap as the Norse cruised to a 3-1 victory.
Central, which improved to 20-17 overall with a 12-14 league record, won Saturday’s doubleheader 4-2 and 11-7. The Dutch knocked out nine runs in the first three innings, capitalizing on Luther errors. Sam Stezel (center field, senior Perry) was the first to score after reaching first on an error and advancing to home on two balls grounded out to third base. Adam Ariola (third base, junior, Bloomington, Ill., Normal HS) singled and reached second on another Norse error. Zach Zylstra (left field, sophomore, Pella, Pella Christian HS) and Michael Jontz (right fielder, senior, West Des Moines, Valley HS) scored the last runs of the first frame.
The Dutch brought home five more before claiming the first game. Pitcher Ryan Goetzinger (senior, Mason City) improved to 2-2, pitching five innings and striking out three.
“Ryan did some really good things on the mound,” said coach Adam Stevens. “He had a nice game and was consistent.”
Jordan Judkins (third base, junior, Marshalltown) had three runs, followed by Ariola and Stetzel with two runs each. Robbie Rushing (designated hitter, junior, Wes Des Moines, Valley HS) pitched two innings and struck out three. Rushing also had three RBIs and scored one run.
“Robbie had a great weekend offensively and we hope that he stays hot for the conference tournament,” Stevens said.
Central was looking for the four-game sweep in the final game. The Dutch scored the first run in the fourth inning. Judkins singled and advanced to second after Rushing was walked. Judkins scored after a double play and a Zylstra single. Luther scored big in the fifth, knocking out three runs and securing the game.
“Luther played very well in game four,” Stevens said. “We played well defensively, but they were on top of it in the last game. I was pleased with the way we played the entire weekend, and I feel like we are playing very well going into the conference tournament.”
Pitcher Matt Schissel (freshman, Rock Island, Ill., Alleman HS) was given the loss and stands with a 0-2 record. Schissel pitched for two innings and struck out one. Jontz pitched three innings, allowed only three hits and struck out four.
The Dutch head to the Iowa Conference tournament, hosted by the University of Dubuque, on Thursday in Cedar Rapids at the Perfect Game Field at Veterans Memorial Stadium
and Daniels Park. Tournament seeds and opponents are still to be determined.
“We are very excited to be heading to the conference tournament,” said coach Stevens. “We hope to capitalize on this momentum as we go into the first game.”