2012 Iowa Conference champions
CEDAR RAPIDS — Top-seeded Buena Vista struck early and slowed the Central College baseball team’s Iowa Conference tourney run, 7-2 Friday.
That sends the Dutch (27-15) into an elimination-bracket contest Saturday at 10 a.m. p.m. with Loras College (19-22). The winner of that contest comes back at 1 p.m. against Buena Vista in an attempt to force an additional game at 4 p.m. to determine the title. The tourney winner receives the conference’s automatic berth in the NCAA Division III tournament.
Buena Vista (35-7) put itself in control of the tourney by striking early against the Dutch with five runs in the first two innings.
“We had a few hits drop in on us in the first and then they hit a clutch triple,” coach Adam Stevens said. “One thing we’ve done so well this year is we haven’t given up the big inning. But when you do that with a good pitcher on the mound like we faced today, you know it’s going to be pretty tough after that.”
Buena Vista hurler Scott Harris improved to 8-0 by scattering seven hits over nine innings and limiting Central to one earned run. He struck out eight and didn’t walk a batter.
“He was very good,” Stevens said. “He’s a left-hander who throws 90-91 miles per hour. We had some good at-bats against him but it’s really tough to string any hits together against him. They had some clutch hits and that was probably the difference. Give them credit. They deserved to win.”
Matt Schissel (sophomore, Rock Island, Ill., Alleman HS) took the loss. Schissel (3-1) yielded five earned runs on nine hits with no walks and one strikeout in 4.2 innings. Ryan Dusil (senior, Cedar Rapids, Kennedy HS) threw three innings of two-hit relief.
Central got an RBI single in the fourth inning from first baseman Grant Seuferer (senior, Milo, Southeast Warren HS) and added an unearned tally in the fifth. Shortstop Jordan Judkins (senior, Marshalltown) continued swinging a hot bat with two hits.
Loras advanced with a 12-1 win over Simpson Friday evening. Central took three of four games from the Duhawks at Dubuque April 25-26. It’s a long road back through the loser’s bracket, but Stevens said it’s possible if the Dutch don’t look too far ahead.
“The most important game for us right now is at 10 a.m.,” he said. “Like we talked about before, it’s just survive and advance. And if we catch fire like yesterday, we could have a good day. We have to be focused and the guys know that.”