2012 Iowa Conference champions
INDIANOLA—The Central College baseball team found its footing in Tuesday’s Iowa Conference doubleheader against Simpson College, ending its four-game losing streak and completing the four-game season series sweep of the Storm with 9-1 and 4-3 victories.
The Dutch (13-10 overall, 5-7 conference) took advantage of nine errors by the Storm (13-11 overall, 6-8 conference), including two in the eighth and ninth innings of their come-from-behind win in the nightcap, to take the pair.
“Our team deserves a lot of credit,” coach Adam Stevens said. “We’re tired. We’ve played a lot of baseball in a short amount of time. We used a lot of physical and emotional energy at Storm Lake. But we were ready to play today. Our seniors led us.”
It was a case of same story, different chapter in the opener as starting pitcher Robbie Rushing (senior, West Des Moines, Valley HS) hurled his second complete game against the Storm in the past week. Rushing allowed one run on five hits and two walks while striking out five over 7.0 innings.
Simpson struck first with one run on three hits in the bottom of the first inning, but left the bases loaded, the first of two such occurrences in the seven-inning game.
“Robbie really set the tone,” said Stevens. “He was great today. The key to the game was the way he worked out of jams and our defense. It could’ve gone the other way if Simpson had scored more early. We made some great plays and he threw some great pitches.”
Meanwhile, Rushing received plenty of run support.
The Dutch broke through in the top of the second inning scoring four runs on two hits and two Simpson errors. Right fielder Andrew O’Toole (senior, Des Moines, Lincoln HS) crossed the plate on an error before shortstop Jordan Judkins (senior, Marshalltown) drove in first baseman Grant Seuferer (senior, Milo, Southeast Warren HS) with a single to begin Central’s two-out rally. After stealing second, J. Judkins and center fielder Dakotah Wolken (sophomore, Dillon, East Marshall HS) scored on left fielder Jake Effron’s (senior, Glendale, Ariz., North Pointe Prep HS) single to close out the frame.
The scoring stalled for two innings before Central tacked on two runs in the top of the fifth, thanks in part to two more Storm errors. J. Judkins and Effron accounted for the runs.
The Dutch closed out the scoring with three runs on two hits and another Simpson error in the top of the seventh. Rushing scored on an error before second baseman Adam Ariola (senior, Bloomington, Ill., Normal HS) reached home on a wild pitch. Third baseman Zach Brown (freshman, Cedar Rapids, Xavier HS) scored Central’s final run on Seuferer’s single.
J. Judkins and Seuferer each finished 2-for-4, while Effron and Brown tallied two runs batted in and. Eight Dutch players combined for the nine runs.
Simpson’s Scieszinski was tagged with the loss after allowing six runs over 5.0 innings, all of which were unearned. Barr and Craig each finished with two hits.
In the nightcap, pitchers Judson McKown (senior, Independence, Minn., Orono HS) and Mack Boothe (sophomore, Ames, Gilbert HS) combined for the win on the mound. McKown started and allowed one unearned run on three hits and one walk with one strikeout over the first 4.0 innings. Boothe entered in the fifth and allowed two runs on three hits and two walks with six strikeouts over the final 5.0 innings.
“Judson gutted it out today in the second game,” said Stevens. “Mack hasn’t pitched much, but has worked his way into our rotation. He was outstanding and kept Simpson at bay.”
The Dutch broke through in the top of the first inning, as Wolken and J. Judkins scored on Brown’s two-out, bases-loaded single through the left side. The door was left open after a Simpson error filled the bags.
The Storm then scored three unanswered runs, as Central was scoreless for six innings.
In the top of the eighth, pinch runner Spencer Gritsch (sophomore, Brooklyn, BGM HS) came around to score following a throwing error by the catcher, tying the game. In Central’s half of the ninth, pinch runner Andy Carr (junior, Rockford, Ill., Lutheran HS) advanced to third following an errant pickoff attempt at first base by the pitcher. Carr scored on J. Judkins' sacrifice fly as yet another unearned Dutch run.
“We used a lot of guys today,” said Stevens. “We were trying to keep the energy high. Spencer and Andy came off the bench and gave us a serious boost.”
Boothe shut the door with a three up, three down ninth.
Brown and O’Toole each recorded two hits in the second game, while Brown drove in two runs and J. Judkins drove in one. Four different Dutch players accounted for the four runs scored.
Simpson’s Borgeson was saddled with the loss after allowing two unearned runs in 2.0 innings. Scieszinski had two hits for the second straight game.
The doubleheader closes out a brutal stretch for Central, which played 10 of its first 12 league games on the road. The Dutch return home for their next eight games and 12 of their final 16.
“The nice thing about today was we recovered from the weekend and picked up a couple of wins,” Stevens said. “We’re excited for the rest of the season.”
Friday and Saturday mark Central’s first four-game series at Pella this season. The Dutch play host to Luther College (9-12 overall, 3-8 conference) with start times slated for 1 and 3 p.m. both days at the A.N. Kuyper Athletics Complex baseball field.