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Dutch voted fifth in league preseason baseball poll

Baseball | March 19, 2014

CEDAR RAPIDS—The Central College baseball team will have to separate itself from the pack, according to Iowa Conference coaches, who tabbed the squad to finish tied for fifth in the league preseason poll.

The Dutch (6-2) finished last season with a 22-19 overall record and 12-14 conference mark, good for fourth place in the league standings. Led by 2013 first-team all-Iowa Conference designated hitter Robbie Rushing (senior, West Des Moines, Valley HS), Central returns six starting position players, two starting pitchers and 16 letterwinners from last year’s squad.

The Dutch opened the 2014 campaign against Grinnell at Illinois and opened play at the Tucson (Ariz.) Invitational Games Friday.

Preview by Josh Schroeder, Iowa Conference director of information:

Buena Vista University, which finished third in the Iowa Conference last season, is the coaches' pick to capture the 2014 Iowa Conference crown. The Beavers, who amassed 52 points to edge Wartburg by a point (51), picked up four first-place votes, two second-place votes and a third-place vote. The Knights captured two first-place votes and were selected second on the other five ballots (coaches cannot vote for their own teams). Coe, last year's regular-season and conference tournament runner-up, was third with 45 points and one first-place vote. Loras, tied with Central for fifth in the poll (30 points), received the final first-place vote.
 
The complete 2014 IIAC Baseball Coaches Poll follows.

Rank School (1st place votes)        Points  2013 Record
1         Buena Vista (4)                         52          (23-19, 15-13 IIAC)
2         Wartburg (2)                               51          (35-11, 20-6 IIAC)
3         Coe (1)                                        45          (28-14, 19-7 IIAC)
4         Simpson                                     33          (18-23, 12-16 IIAC)
5         Loras (1)                                     30          (19-21, 11-15 IIAC)
           Central                                        30          (22-19, 12-14 IIAC)
7         Luther                                          23          (14-22, 10-18 IIAC)
8         Dubuque                                    16          (11-25, 9-19 IIAC)

Early Starts: Through March 18, all eight schools have at least four games in with Buena Vista (6-1) and Luther (3-1) leading the way and Central (6-2) and Simpson (5-3) not far behind. Wartburg (6-6) has already completed its entire 12-game nonconference slate and has only IIAC games to concern itself with down the stretch. The Beavers were ranked 30th in the March 18 ABCA/Collegiate Baseball Poll and are currently receiving votes in the NCBWA/D3baseball.com Poll. The Knights are receiving a vote in the March 18 ABCA/Collegiate Baseball Poll and received votes in the NCBWA/D3baseball.com Poll to start the year.
 
Conference Schedule:  Weather permitting, the Iowa Conference schedule gets underway this weekend (March 21-22) with one four-game series -- Coe plays host to Simpson. The schools will play a 28-game conference schedule with each school playing a 4-game series against every Conference opponent. One series will be played on a pair of Tuesdays (April 1 and 8) with a 7-inning/9-inning doubleheader played at each site. The remaining series will played on Friday-Saturday at the same site. A 7-inning/9-inning doubleheader will be played on each date.
 
Conference Tournament:  The 2014 Iowa Conference Baseball Tournament hosted by Loras College will be held May 8-10 in Cedar Rapids. The top two teams from the regular season will receive first-round byes and the tournament schedule will feature four games each on Thursday and Friday and two, possibly three, games on Saturday. Excluding one first-round game at Daniels Park, all games are scheduled to be played at Perfect Game Field at Veterans Memorial Stadium, home of the Cedar Rapids Kernels, the Class A Midwest League affiliate of the Minnesota Twins.
 
Team-By-Team Preview:  A brief preview for each Iowa Conference team follows.

Buena Vista University
2013 Record: 23-19 overall, 15-13 Iowa Conference (third); IIAC Tournament sixth place (0-2)
 
The Beavers return 17 letter winners, including eight position players and six pitchers, from last year's third-place Iowa Conference squad.
 
Sophomore catcher/outfielder Brandon Wessels is the Beavers' top returning hitter. Starting all 42 games, the 2013 first team all-league and second-team D3baseball.com all-region pick, posted team-highs with a .407 average, 66 hits and 83 total bases. He also ranked second on the team with 10 doubles, 24 RBI, 29 runs scored, eight stolen bases and 145 putouts defensively. In 28 IIAC games, he hit .391 with 43 hits, five doubles, a triple, a home run, 17 RBI and 18 runs scored, leading the league in hits while ranking second in total plate appearances (120), third in batting average, fourth in total bases (53), eighth in slugging percentage (.482), 10th in on-base percentage (.424). Wessels had 19 multiple-hit and two multiple-RBI games last season, including one game with four RBI (April 5 vs. Wartburg, game 2).
 
Senior Joe Paletta took home first team all-IIAC honors in 2011 as a designated hitter and second team honors last season at first base. He hit .395 in 42 games last year with 60 hits and team-highs with 31 runs scored, 12 doubles and 25 RBIs. Paletta hit .364 in 28 league games, with 36 hits, nine doubles, 19 RBI, 16 runs scored, tying for the league lead in doubles while ranking third in walks drawn (14) and total plate appearances (119), fifth in on-base percentage (.453), sixth in RBI, seventh in hits and total bases (47), eighth in batting average, and 10th in slugging percentage (.475). Defensively, he committed only two errors in 477 chances, leading the league in doubles plays fielded, ranking second in chances (246) and third in putouts (231). Paletta had 19 multiple-hit and four multiple-RBI games last season.
 
Second baseman Weston Foxx and outfielder Nick Schlect, both seniors, also received first team all-IIAC last season. Schlecht hit .312 in 28 games with 24 hits, a .416 slugging percentage and seven stolen bases. He ranked seventh in on-base percentage (.436) and runs scored (20). Schlect also led the Beavers with nine stolen bases. Foxx hit .279 in 28 games with 31 hits, six doubles, 14 RBI and 15 runs scored in an IIAC-leading 123 plate appearances. Foxx tied for third in league play in double plays fielded with 17 and tied for sixth in assists with 71. Senior third baseman Jeremy Lambert played in 24 games a year ago, hitting .299 with 20 hits – including four doubles and four of Buena Vista's six home runs. He drove in 17 and scored 11 runs with a .537 slugging percentage.
 
On the mound, Buena Vista returns three of five starting pitchers, including a couple that split time between the rotation and the bullpen. Senior Jon Ringblom, who was named to the All-IIAC second team and the ABCA All-Central Region second team, posted the top ERA for a Beaver starter at 2.19 to go with a 5-2 record in 10 appearances – all starts. He tossed three complete games, played a part in three shutouts and struck out 61 while averaging over six innings per start. He ranked third among all IIAC pitchers in strikeouts. In league play, the Beavers posted the league's top ERA at 3.09 with 167 strikeouts and a league-low 94 runs allowed. Ringblom made six league starts, posting a 4-1 record with a 2.21 ERA and 36 strikeouts in 36 2/3 innings. He ranked fourth in the league in ERA, strikeouts and wins while allowing a league-low 10 runs (nine earned). Ringblom threw two complete games and figured in a pair of shutouts.
 
Quote from head coach Steve Eddie
"The Iowa Conference should be a league of parity. I would predict the last conference weekend will determine who makes the tournament, and a majority of the seeds won't be known until the last out is retired. All eight teams will have a chance to finish anywhere in the league standings.  It should be an amazing year."

Central College
2013 Record: 22-19 overall, 12-14 Iowa Conference (fourth); Fourth place, IIAC Tournament (2-2)
 
The Dutch return 16 letter winners, including six starting position players and two starting pitchers, from last year's team that took fourth in both the final regular season standings and the IIAC Tournament.
 
Returning to lead the Central offense are a pair of seniors – infielder Adam Ariola and designated hitter Robbie Rushing. Ariola, a second-team all-IIAC pick last year and an honorable mention in 2011, led the team in hitting with a .333 batting average, 48 hits and 33 RBI in 41 games. He also had seven stolen bases, two doubles, a triple, a home run and scored 28 runs while ranking 12th among IIAC players in batting average and tied for fourth in RBI. In 26 IIAC games, Ariola hit .378 with 34 hits, 17 runs scored and 17 RBI, ranking fifth in batting average, ninth in on-base percentage (.426) and eighth in stolen bases (6).
 
Rushing, a first-team all-Iowa Conference pick in 2013, hit .312 with a team-leading 12 doubles, two doubles, two home runs, 19 RBI and 22 runs scored in 41 games. Also playing in 26 conference games, he hit .341 with 29 hits, 12 RBI, 11 runs scored, nine doubles, two triples, two home runs and 12 walks drawn. Rushing tied for the league lead in doubles, ranked second in times hit by a pitch (8), third in on-base percentage (.467), fourth in slugging percentage (.565), sixth in total bases (48). Rushing had six multiple-hit and four multiple-RBI games.
 
The Dutch also have one of the league's top relievers back in senior righty Judson McKown. McKown, a two-time all-IIAC pick and a third-team D3baseball.com All-Central Region selection last season, made a school-record 19 appearances including two starts, posting a 3-5 record, a 3.73 ERA, 33 strikeouts and a league-best and school-record eight saves in 60 1/3 innings. In 12 IIAC appearances, he went 2-4 with a 3.16 ERA, striking out 21 and making five saves in 42 2/3 innings. McKown ranked second in appearances, third in saves, fifth in innings pitched and 10th in ERA.
 
Senior Ryan Dusil made nine appearances last season – all starts – and posted a 5-1 record, a 3.86 ERA and 16 strikeouts over 51 1/3 innings. Dusil did throw one complete game and was part of one combined shutout. He started six IIAC games, compiling a 2-1 mark with a 3.78 ERA, one complete game and nine strikeouts in 33 1/3 innings. Rushing also made five appearances on the mound, including one start, with a 1-1 record, an 8.10 ERA and six strikeouts in 10 innings.
 
Quote from head coach Adam Stevens
"We have a solid core of veterans that have had success here and a good group of sophomores and freshmen that still need to prove themselves. Our guys are working hard and looking forward to competing in the IIAC."

Coe College
2013 Record: 28-14 overall, 19-7 Iowa Conference (runner-up); IIAC Tournament runner-up (2-2)
 
The Kohawks return 10 letter winners, including five starting position players and one starting pitcher, from last year's Iowa Conference regular-season and tournament runner-up squad.
 
Junior first baseman/utility player AJ Reuter will lead Coe offensively. Last season, Reuter – a first team all-conference and third team ABCA all-region pick – hit .357 in 41 games with team-highs in hits (51) and doubles (13) while scoring 29 runs and driving in 23. He ranked second among IIAC player in doubles, seventh in batting, eighth in on-base percentage (.427) and ninth in hits. In 26 IIAC games, Reuter posted the league's best batting average (.407) with 37 hits, eight doubles, 16 RBI and 18 runs scored. He also ranked fourth in on-base percentage (.461) and doubles, fifth in hits and sixth in slugging percentage (.495).
 
Reuter will be joined in the lineup by junior outfielder Michael Goerdt and sophomore infielder Craig Konrardy. Goerdt hit .300 with 45 hits, 10 doubles, 23 runs, and 19 RBIs. He was also a perfect 5-for-5 in stolen bases. Goerdt started all 26 IIAC games for the Kohawks, hitting .286 with 26 hits, four doubles, a triple, 10 RBI and 14 runs scored. Konrardy hit .272 in 37 games with 31 hits, eight doubles, one triple, one home run, 22 runs scored and 22 RBI. In 26 conference games (24 starts), he hit .284 with 21 hits, five doubles, a triple, a home run, 18 RBI and 15 runs scored.
 
Junior Connor Alberhasky went 5-3 with a 2.70 ERA in 10 appearances, striking out 43 with four complete games. In six league starts, he went 3-2 with a 3.76 ERA, three complete games, a shutout and 23 strikeouts in 38 1/3 innings. The Kohawks also return Tyler Hixson, a senior who captured first team all-IIAC honors as a freshman relief pitcher in 2011. He pitched in seven games last season, posting a 1-0 record with a 7.71 ERA and five strikeouts in 9 1/3 innings.
 
Reuter made 13 appearances last season, including 10 out of the bullpen, with a 3-3 record, a 3.96 ERA, a complete-game shutout, three saves and 16 strikeouts in 36 1/3 innings. In league play, he went 2-1 in eight appearances with a 4.91 ERA, three saves and 12 strikeouts, ranking fourth in the IIAC in saves.
 
Quote from head coach Steve Cook
"It will be important for this year's Coe baseball team to gain experience and develop throughout the season. I fully expect our Iowa Conference opponents to be as strong as ever, top-to-bottom. It should be fun to see how things shake out leading up to the conference tournament. Buena Vista is my favorite to win the regular season title."
 
University of Dubuque
2013 Record: 11-25 overall, 9-19 Iowa Conference (eighth); DNQ for IIAC Tournament
 
Dubuque returns eight letter winners, including four pitchers, but needs to rebuild a starting lineup largely decimated by graduation as it attempts to qualify for the Iowa Conference tournament for the first time since 2005 and for just the third time since qualification was limited to the top six schools in the standings in 1998.
 
Senior catcher Vince Parisi played in and started 33 games last season hitting .218 with 19 hits, four doubles, nine RBI and nine runs scored. Starting all 26 Iowa Conference games, he batted .221 with 15 hits, three doubles, six RBI and eight runs scored.
 
Senior outfielder Steve Ryan saw limited action last season, playing in 12 games with four starts while batting .111 with two hits and a run scored.
 
Senior right-hander Josh Eastman, an all-IIAC honorable mention last year, is the Spartans' top returning pitcher. Eastman appeared in 10 games last year with eight starts. He posted a 3-3 record with a 2.86 ERA, 25 strikeouts, five complete games and a save in a team-high 56 2/3 innings. Eastman appeared in eight IIAC games with six starts, recording a 3-2 mark, a 3.15 ERA, four complete games, 20 strikeouts in 45 2/3 innings. He ranked ninth in the league in ERA and second in innings pitched.
 
Quote from head coach Paul Wyczawski 
"We have a young and talented group of players that will be fun to watch develop over the course of the season. I expect the IIAC to be very competitive top-to-bottom, and it will be a battle each weekend."

Loras College
2013 Record: 19-21 overall, 11-15 Iowa Conference (sixth); Fifth place, IIAC Tournament (1-2)
 
Loras returns 19 letter winners including four starting position players and 12 pitchers (four starters) from a 2013 team that made it back to the IIAC Tournament after a 3-year hiatus. Junior Will Petrosky and senior Jeremy Gerardy headline the 2014 Loras pitching corps. Petrosky, a lefty with two all-conference honors to his name (first team-2013, second team-2012), appeared in 11 games last season, starting 10, with a 4-4 record, a 2.83 ERA, three complete games and a team-leading 53 strikeouts in 60 1/3 innings. In eight IIAC appearances, he was 4-3 with a 2.95 ERA, three complete games and 37 strikeouts. He ranked third in the league in strikeouts, seventh in ERA and ninth in innings pitched (39 2/3) while opponents hit a league-low .206 against him. Gerardy, a righty reliever who received first team all-IIAC and second-team D3baseball all-region honors last year, led the team in appearances with 17, compiling a 2-4 record, a 1.87 ERA, six saves and 24 strikeouts in 33 2/3 innings. 11 of those appearances came in IIAC play (all in relief, a league-high) where he went 1-2 with a 1.99 ERA, 17 strikeouts and a league-high-tying six saves in 22 2/3 innings.
 
Senior shortstop Mike Pudlo is Loras' top returning hitter in terms of average. Pudlo hit .285 overall with 39 hits, four doubles, seven RBI and 17 runs scored. He also stole eight bases and led the team with 11 multiple-hit games. In 26 IIAC games, Pudlo hit .287 with 25 hits and three doubles. He drove in four and scored nine times.
 
Senior centerfielder Mark Jablonski, a second-team all-league selection last year, played in 39 of Loras' 40 games, posting a .280 average with 28 hits, four doubles, a triple, a home run, nine RBI, 13 stolen bases and 21 runs scored. He ranked fifth among all IIAC players in stolen bases. Jablonski started all 26 IIAC games for Loras, batting .284 with 21 hits and three doubles. He also stole 10 bases to tie for the league lead with Coe's Nick Stein.
 
Sophomore first baseman/pitcher Patrick Walsh started 28 games last season, batting .223 with 21 hits, a pair of doubles and 14 RBI while recording 213 putouts, primarily at first base. He hit .130 in 16 IIAC games with 116 putouts. Walsh also made six appearances on the mound, registering a 1-0 mark with a 2.42 ERA, highlighted by a complete-game 2-hit shutout with a league season-high 11 K's against Simpson on April 5. He ended up starting four games in IIAC play for the Duhawks, with a 3.24 ERA, a 1-0 record and 16 strikeouts in 16 2/3 innings.
 
Quote from head coach Carl Tebon
"We have returns at every position this year with a lot of playing experience and along with our newcomers we feel we should compete at a very high level in the conference this season. The IIAC will be very balanced again this season from top to bottom."

Luther College
2013 Record: 14-22 overall, 10-18 Iowa Conference (seventh); DNQ for IIAC Tournament
 
Luther returns 21 letter winners, including nine position players, four starting pitchers and two relievers. The strength for the Norse will be up the middle defensively as all-conference players return at catcher, shortstop and center field, respectively. Senior Eric Pittman was a first team all-league pick at shortstop last year after leading the team with a .344 batting average, 24 hits, 10 doubles, two triples, seven stolen bases and 21 runs scored. He also ranked fourth on the team with 13 RBI. Pittman ranked seventh among all IIAC players in doubles, eighth in batting average and 10th in slugging percentage (.459). Playing in and starting 25 IIAC games for the Norse, Pittman hit .362 with 34 hits, seven doubles, two triples, eight RBI and 17 runs scored. He ranked seventh in the league in doubles and ninth in both batting average and slugging percentage (.479). Pittman led the Norse with 13 multiple-hit games.
 
Senior centerfielder Andy Briggs and sophomore catcher Mitch Knippenberg were both named all-IIAC second-teamers last season. Briggs started all 36 games, batting .269 with 32 hits, four doubles, 16 RBI and 17 runs scored. He played in and started all 28 of Luther's Iowa Conference games, batting .286 with 26 hits, three doubles, 12 RBI and 15 runs scored. Briggs finished the year with six multiple-hit and three multiple-RBI games. Knippenberg was the team's second-leading hitter last year, batting .340 with 35 hits and three doubles in 33 games. Briggs and Knippenberg each drove in a team-high last season. In 27 league games, he had 29 hits, two doubles, 12 RBI and 15 runs scored.
 
Junior Alec Knop appeared in a 10 games a year ago, starting seven. He posted a 1-6 mark overall with a 3.02 ERA, three complete games, two saves and 30 strikeouts in 47 2/3 innings. Knop ranked ninth among all qualified IIAC pitchers with a 3.02 ERA. In seven league appearances (five starts), he was 0-5 with a 2.95 ERA, three complete games, two saves and 19 strikeouts in 36 2/3 innings. He was sixth in the league in ERA and saves.
 
Quote from head coach Alex Smith
"I'm excited about the experience we bring back on the mound and with our position players. Combining these players with our newcomers should make us a team with solid depth to compete over the four-game series weekends. I look for it to be another competitive year in the conference with it likely that it will come down to the final set of games to determine a conference champion and who gets into the tournament."

Simpson College
2013 Record: 18-23 overall, 12-16 Iowa Conference (fifth); Third place, IIAC Tournament (2-2)
 
Simpson returns 20 letter winners, including seven starting position players and seven pitchers (two starters), from last year's squad. The Storm finished with the league's second best batting average a year ago at .297 (.296 in league play). On offense, Simpson will be led by senior first baseman Tyler Craig, a first team all-conference and ABCA all-region pick a year ago. Craig, one of the league's top power hitters, started all 41 games last season with a .342 average, 54 hits, four triples, 30 runs scored and team-highs with 14 doubles, seven home runs and 45 RBI. He led all IIAC players in RBI, doubles and total bases (97), ranked second in home runs and slugging percentage (.614), third in triples, eighth in hits, 10th in batting average. Defensively, he committed only one error in 402 chances and fielded 38 double plays, leading all IIAC players in chances (402), putouts (378) and double plays fielded.
 
Craig started all 28 games for the Storm in league play, batting .346 with 36 hits, nine doubles, six home runs, 29 RBI and 19 runs scored and was perfect in 262 chances in the field. He led the conference in fielding percentage, RBI, home runs, doubles and total bases (63), fielding chances (262), putouts (246), and ranked second in slugging percentage (.606) and seventh in hits. Craig finished the season with 18 multiple-hit and 13 multiple-RBI
 
He'll be joined in the infield by 2012 first team all-IIAC pick Michael Chia. Chia, a senior, hit .242 in 30 games with 22 hits, nine RBI and 13 runs scored. He also stole a team-high seven bases.
 
In the outfield, Simpson brings back seniors Brett Crable and Jake Barr. Crable, a first-team all-conference pick last year, was the Storm's top hitter with a .363 average. He started all 41 games with 57 hits, six doubles, 22 RBI and 35 runs scored, ranking fifth among all IIAC players in batting average and runs scored and seventh in hits. In league play, Crable started 28 games with a .373 average, 38 hits, two doubles, 14 RBI and 24 runs scored. He ranked second in the league in runs scored, fourth in hits, sixth in batting average,
 
Barr, a second-team all-conference pick each of the past two seasons, hit .343 with a team-leading 59 base hits, eight doubles, three triples, 12 RBI and 35 runs scored in 41 games. He ranked fifth among league players in runs scored and triples, sixth in hits and ninth in batting average and total bases (73). Barr started all 28 games in league play, batting .351 with 39 hits, six doubles, three triples, eight RBI and 22 runs scored. He ranked second in the league in hits and triples, fifth in total bases (51), sixth in runs scored and 10th in batting average.
 
Sophomore righty Gage Reis is back after a solid freshman campaign where he made 16 appearances (eight starts) with a 5-3 record, a 4.19 ERA, one complete game, one save and 28 strikeouts in 53 2/3 innings. Opposing batters hit only .217 against him, ranking him second among IIAC pitchers. In league play, he made nine appearances with five starts, posting a 3-3 record, a 5.08 ERA, a complete game, a save and 20 strikeouts in 39 innings. He ranked sixth in opposing batting average (.230) and 10th in innings pitched. He'll be joined in the rotation by senior southpaw Aaron Young. Young, a second team all-IIAC pick in 2012, appeared in 16 games with eight starts, finishing with a 1-5 record, a 10.67 ERA and 19 strikeouts in 43 innings. He made eight appearances (six starts) in league play, posting a 1-3 record and a 13.90 ERA with 13 strikeouts in 22 2/3 innings.
 
Quote from head coach Ben Blake
"We could be pretty good. We have quite a few guys that have had success at one time or another. I guess it is a matter of our guys putting it all together and finding a little depth on the mound and balance throughout the lineup."

Wartburg College
2013 Record: 35-11 overall, 20-6 Iowa Conference (champion); IIAC Tournament champion (3-0);
Fourth place, NCAA Central Regional (1-2)
 
Wartburg returns five starting position players and two starting pitchers from last year's conference championship squad. Among those back for the Knights, which boasted the league's top offense (.304, 172 runs scored) and defense (.969 fielding percentage), are three all-region players, including senior third baseman Ryan Powers, an ABCA third-team all-American last year. Powers, who also received first-team all-region plaudits from the ABCA and D3baseball.com, played in and started 42 games last season. He posted the league's top batting average at .437 and had 66 hits, 13 doubles, two triples, 38 RBI and 45 runs scored. He also drew 26 walks. Powers led all IIAC players in batting average, on-base percentage (.525), runs scored, hits and walks drawn, and ranked second in doubles, third in RBI and fourth in slugging percentage (.550) and total bases (83).
 
Powers, a 2013 all-Iowa Conference first-teamer, started each of Wartburg's 26 IIAC games, batting .398 with 37 hits, eight doubles, 22 RBI and 24 runs scored. He also drew 17 walks, ranking second in the IIAC and helping him lead the conference in on-base percentage (.504). Powers also ranked second in runs scored, third in RBI, fourth in doubles fifth in hits, seventh in slugging percentage (.484) and eighth in total bases.
 
Also back to carry some of the offensive load is junior catcher Blake Wilson, a two-time ABCA All-Central Region pick (2012 third team, 2013 second team). Wilson, who also earned first team all-conference honors in 2012, hit .308 with 49 hits, eight doubles, two triples, a home run, 32 RBI and 30 runs scored in 46 games. He ranked sixth among IIAC players in RBI and fifth in both defensive chances (327) and putouts (281). He also caught a league-best 16 runners stealing. In league play, Wilson started 26 games, batting .305 with 29 hits, four doubles, a home run, 17 RBI and 19 runs scored and ranked sixth in both defensive chances (206) and putouts (180).
 
Senior Michael Schinstock also returns, filling a true utility role. A three-time all-conference pick at three different position (first base, utility, relief pitcher), he batted .250 last season with 36 hits, three doubles, two triples, 20 RBI and 24 runs scored. Schinstock played in 25 conference games, hitting .277 with three doubles, 10 RBI and 13 runs scored.
 
The Knights' pitching staff features senior righty Ben Rettenmeier and Schinstock. Rettenmeier, a second-team all-IIAC pick last year who also earned all-region honors from both the ABCA (second team) and D3baseball.com (third team), made 12 appearances (11 starts), going 9-1 with a 3.25 ERA, three complete games, two shutouts and a team-high 65 strikeouts in 83 innings. He led all IIAC pitchers in innings, wins and strikeouts. He made seven appearances in league play with only one coming in relief, posting a 4-1 mark with a 4.41 ERA, one complete game and 44 strikeouts in 49 innings. Rettenmeier led the IIAC in innings pitched, ranked second in strikeouts and posted the second-highest number of wins.
 
Schinstock made 17 appearances, mostly in relief, but posted a 4-4 record, a 4.56 ERA, two complete games, five saves and 41 strikeouts in 47 1/3 innings. He ranked third among IIAC pitchers in appearances, fourth in opposing batting average (.223) and fifth in saves. Schinstock made eight appearances in IIAC play, all but one in relief, posting a 3-0 record, a 1.77 ERA, two saves and 22 strikeouts in 20 1/3 innings. He also pitched a complete game in his lone league start.
 
Quote from head coach Joel Holst
"We have a strong nucleus of guys returning with experience and a good group of new players that have produced a positive day-to-day team environment. We are excited about the possibilities! It looks like the Conference has a number of top performers returning which should create an exciting season."


Central College