2012 Iowa Conference champions
DUBUQUE—The Central College baseball team dropped Saturday’s opener 6-1 before earning an Iowa Conference doubleheader split with a 4-1 win over Loras College to remain alone in third place with one league four-game series remaining on the schedule.
The Dutch (23-12 overall, 15-9 conference) and the Duhawks (17-17 overall, 13-11 conference) entered the weekend without conference tournament berths and tied for third in the league standings. And after taking three of four games, Central has both, while Loras clinched a berth in the tournament.
In the series finale, the Dutch scored one run in each the first, third, fourth and fifth innings, while starting pitcher Matt Schissel (sophomore, Rock Island, Ill., Alleman HS) kept the Duhawks off balance to the tune of one run on three hits and one walk with four strikeouts over 8.0 innings. He improved to 3-0.
“It was a great bounce-back second game,” coach Adam Stevens said. “Matt was great on the mound and we played solid defense behind him.
“Our guys deserve a lot of credit for finding a way to win game two.”
Mack Boothe (sophomore, Ames, Gilbert HS) was called upon to close once again and shut the door for his third save of the season, all coming in the past eight games.
Central scored its first-inning run on a double by designated hitter Robbie Rushing (senior, West Des Moines, Valley HS). Its third-inning run came on a single by first baseman Zach Brown (). A fourth-inning single by shortstop Jordan Judkins (senior, Marshalltown) added an unearned run before Rushing scored the final Dutch run in the fifth.
Right fielder Andrew O’Toole (senior, Des Moines, Lincoln HS), second baseman Adam Ariola (senior, Bloomington, Ill., Normal HS) and third baseman Kirby Coppess (junior, Urbandale) each finished with two hits, while O’Toole scored two runs. Central collected 10 hits as a team and did not register an error.
Stevens also noted the defensive effort of center fielder Jake Effron (senior, Glendale, Ariz., North Pointe Prep HS).
Loras’ Rodriguez finished 2-for-3 with one RBI and one run scored. Schwoebel allowed four runs (three earned) on eight hits and two walks with three strikeouts over 7.0 innings.
In the opener, the Duhawks scored four runs in the third and two in the fifth to cancel out Central’s first-inning run.
“We had an uncharacteristic, bad defensive inning in the first game and we never really recovered,” said Stevens.
The lone Dutch run came on a single by first baseman Grant Seuferer (senior, Milo, Southeast Warren HS) in the opening frame, but was unable to solve Loras’ starting pitcher Norton, who scattered 10 Central hits in the complete-game victory.
Rushing pitched all 6.0 innings for the Dutch, allowing six runs on four hits and six walks with one strikeout. J. Judkins, Rushing and Ariola racked up two hits apiece.
Loras’ Pudlo and Walsh each had two RBIs, while Pudlo also scored two runs.
Central chased Loras’ starting pitcher Walsh after allowing four runs in 4.0 innings. Battalini tallied three hits, while no other Duhawk recorded a multi-hit game.
The Dutch return home for their regular-season finale, a four-game series against second-place Wartburg College (23-13 overall, 17-7 conference). Last season the Knights swept the four-game series at Waverly.
“We have an important week of practice to prepare for next weekend,” said Stevens.
First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m. both Friday and Saturday.