2012 Iowa Conference champions
STORM LAKE—The Central College baseball team led late in the second game of its Iowa Conference doubleheader against No. 25-ranked Buena Vista University, but was done in by a walk-off double as the Beavers notched 10-2 and 5-4 victories Sunday evening.
In the nightcap, the Dutch (11-8 overall, 3-5 conference) led 4-3 entering the bottom of the ninth inning, but an error opened the door for Beavers’ (16-4 overall, 5-3 conference) two-out rally. It ended on Buena Vista right fielder Tanner Truesdell’s double to the gap in left center, scoring catcher Brandon Wessels.
“That’s as tough as it gets,” coach Adam Stevens said. “We played really well against a really good team, but we didn’t finish them off. We were in a great position to win the second game, but it just didn’t go our way.”
Senior shortstop Jordan Judkins (Marshalltown) and freshman first baseman Zach Brown (Cedar Rapids, Xavier HS) each recorded two hits, while J. Judkins scored twice. Senior designated hitter Robbie Rushing (West Des Moines, Valley HS) tallied two runs batted in.
Sophomore pitcher Dakotah Wolken (Dillon, East Marshall HS) pieced together another quality start, allowing three runs on five hits and two walks with two strikeouts over 6.1 innings. Junior pitcher Andy Carr (Rockford, Ill., Lutheran HS) retired both batters he faced in the eighth before handing the ball to senior pitcher Judson McKown (Independence, Minn., Orono HS), who was saddled with the loss after two unearned runs.
“Dakotah had a great start,” Stevens said. “He competed really well against a top team. Overall, we did a lot of good things in the second game. Buena Vista’s top two pitchers are as good as it gets in our conference. We had good at-bats, but it didn’t work out.”
Brandon Wessels was the only Buena Vista player to record a multi-hit game, finishing 2-for-5 with two runs scored and one RBI. Truesdell and Jeremy Lambert had two RBIs apiece.
The Beavers’ Scott Harris allowed four runs on five hits and three walks with six strikeouts over 6.1 innings. Cam Beatty and Lucas Hadaway did not allow a hit over the final 2.2 innings, with Hadaway picking up the win.
In the series opener, the Beavers scored nine runs in the second and third innings combined, which proved to be enough. Central scored one in both the third and fourth, but was unable to cut the deficit further.
Senior right fielder Andrew O’Toole (Des Moines, Lincoln HS) finished 3-for-3 at the plate with one double and one run scored. J. Judkins also had a multi-hit game, going 2-for-4 with a two-bagger.
Freshman pitcher Blake Judkins (Marshalltown) was chased from his start after allowing eight runs on seven hits and one walk with one strikeout over 2.1 innings. Senior pitcher James Longo Jr. (Ankeny) and sophomore pitcher Mack Boothe (Ames, Gilbert HS) combined to allow only one earned run over the final 3.2 innings.
Buena Vista’s Jon Ringblom tossed a complete game for the win, allowing two runs (one earned) on seven hits and one walk with seven strikeouts.
Three Beavers tallied multi-hit games, led by third baseman Bryce Wessels’ 2-for-4 performance with two doubles, four RBIs and two runs scored.
“It was tough to drop both games,” Stevens said. “But there’s not much we can do about it now. Tomorrow is a new day and we need to be ready to go.”
Central returns to the diamond Monday to conclude its league four-game series against the Beavers. First pitch of the doubleheader is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.