2012 Iowa Conference champions
PELLA — The first-place Central College baseball team was outhit Saturday morning, but the Dutch overpowered the Norse early, rolling to a 7-2 win and capturing the three-game Iowa Conference series.
Central, which improved to 23-5 overall with a 13-2 league mark, won Friday’s doubleheader 5-4 (11 inn.) and 1-0. Although Luther cranked out nine hits to Central’s six, the Dutch capitalized on two Norse errors.
Central knocked in two runs in the first frame when shortstop Mike Furlong (senior, Davenport, Assumption HS) walked, advanced on an error and eventually scored on a Luther double play. First baseman Seth Carson (sophomore, Woodridge, Ill., Downers Grove South HS) drove in the second tally with a single to the shortstop.
Luther came back with a leadoff home run in the second inning but in the bottom half of the frame the Dutch erupted for five runs. Both Carson and second baseman Adam Ariola (sophomore, Bloomington, Ill., Normal HS) delivered two-run singles as Central took command. Third baseman Jordan Judkins (sophomore, Marshalltown) also had a run-scoring single.
“Our players were focused and ready to play today and we really came out of the guns offensively,” coach Adam Stevens said. “We took advantage of a couple of their mistakes but we’ve played opportunistic the whole year. It was a good way to start the day and good to see some hard hit balls after yesterday.”
After six scoreless innings, the Norse threatened in the ninth and scored on a passed ball. Luther had the bases loaded but relief pitcher Mike Werkheiser (senior, Stockton, Ill.) forced a groundout to shortstop to end the game.
“We played solid defense today and our pitchers worked out of some jams, which is what they’ve been doing all year,” Stevens said.
Ryan Goetzinger (junior, Mason City) improved to 2-4, scattering eight hits in 7.2 innings of work. He allowed one earned run and walked one while striking out four.
Ryan had good stuff today on the mound,” Stevens said. “He deserves us to score some runs for him because we haven’t done that for him very much this year. He probably threw one of his best outings at Central today and we needed that from him.”
Bret Bell (senior, Jewell, South Hamilton HS) and Werkheiser each tossed 0.2 innings and yielded one hit. Bell gave up one run and struck out two.
Central travels to Grinnell College Tuesday, facing the Pioneers at 2 p.m. The Dutch won the earlier meeting, 8-3, on March 28. Grinnell is 7-12 going into a Sunday doubleheader at Illinois College.