2012 Iowa Conference champions
CEDAR RAPIDS—Pounding out 18 hits, the Simpson College baseball team handed Central College a 10-2 loss at the Iowa Conference baseball tournament Thursday.
The Dutch come back at 10 a.m. Friday in the six-team, double-elimination tourney, and face Buena Vista University, a 9-0 loser to Loras College Thursday afternoon.
Simpson, which tallied six doubles in the game, jumped out to a 5-0 lead after the first two innings and extended its advantage to 6-0 after six.
Central was limited to one hit over the first six frames by three different Simpson pitchers. But in the bottom of the seventh, the Dutch stitched together four runs on four hits with the help of a walk. Designated hitter Robbie Rushing (junior, West Des Moines, Valley HS) and left fielder Zach Zylstra (sophomore, Pella, Pella Christian HS) each rapped out RBI doubles while third baseman Adam Ariola (junior, Bloomington, Ill., Normal HS) drove in a run on a sacrifice fly and first baseman Seth Carson (senior, Woodridge, Downers Grove South HS) added a run-scoring single. That cut the gap to 8-4.
“We had good at bats all game but had a tough time scoring,” coach Adam Stevens said. “Simpson was just hot offensively and had more hits today.”
Simpson tacked on two more runs in the eighth but Central came back with two in the ninth. A Jace Ahrendsen (catcher, junior, Clarence, North Cedar HS) ground out scored Carson while right fielder Andrew O’Toole (junior, Des Moines, Lincoln HS) crossed the plate on a single from second baseman Spencer Gritsch (freshman, Brooklyn, BGM HS). The Storm switched pitchers and after a fielder’s choice, coaxed two fly outs to end the rally.
“Give our guys credit, they fought back and that’s not easy to do when you’re down like we were,” Stevens said.
Starting pitcher Dirk Lindman (senior, Ankeny) took the loss to drop to 5-4. He gave up five earned runs on eight hits while walking one and striking out two. Judson McKown (junior, Maple Plain, Minn., Orono HS) tossed six innings. He allowed five earned runs on nine hits and also walked one and struck out two.
A loss to Buena Vista Friday ends the Central season. A win moves the Dutch into a 4 p.m. game Friday. The tourney concludes Saturday afternoon.