2012 Iowa Conference champions
STORM LAKE — The Central College baseball team had a scarce offense in the opener but pieced together an attack in the nightcap, only to surrender a seventh-inning lead as the Dutch stumbled 4-0 and 6-5 to Buena Vista University Tuesday in an Iowa Conference twinbill.
Central, which dropped to 25-9 overall and 15-5 in the league, maintains its spot at the top of the standings with four conference games remaining. Coe College (21-13) is second at 12-8 after sweeping Cornell College 8-2 and 13-1.
In the second game, Central held a 5-3 lead going into the final frame but walked three of the first four batters and gave up a single to let Buena Vista come within one. The Beavers singled again to tie the game, 5-5. After turning a double play, Central needed an out to head to extra innings but Buena Vista knocked a walk-off single to left field to end the game.
“Anytime you walk batters in a close game like that you’re asking for trouble and it cost us today,” coach Adam Stevens said. “It’s a tough loss.”
The Beavers (17-14 overall, 9-8 conference) struck first with two runs in the second inning but Central evened the score in the top of the third. Shortstop Mike Furlong (senior, Davenport, Assumption) drove in catcher Mike Seeman (senior, Panora, Panorama HS) and left fielder Erik Sipes (freshman, Hudson, Ill., Normal West HS) brought in Furlong with a walk.
Buena Vista came back with a run in their half of the frame before the Dutch tacked on a run in the fourth and two in the fifth. Furlong had another run-scoring single in the fourth while first baseman Seth Carson (junior, Woodridge, Ill., Downers Grove South HS) and designated hitter Andrew O’Toole (sophomore, Des Moines, Lincoln HS) drove in runs in the fifth. Right fielder Michael Jontz (junior, West Des Moines, Valley HS) stole three bases throughout the game, improving his season total to 11.
“We had a better approach offensively and played a lot better than we did in game one,” Stevens said. “We stole some bases and played good defense early in the game to get the lead but we couldn’t hold on.”
Buena Vista had 13 hits to Central’s six and took advantage of two Dutch errors. Dirk Lindaman (junior, Ankeny) dropped to 5-1 on the mound, pitching 0.2 innings.
Central was held to two hits in the first game. The Beavers scored a run in the first three innings and tacked on a final tally in the fifth. They also stole four bases.
“We couldn’t get anything going offensively,” coach Adam Stevens said. “We hit the ball hard a few times but gave up a couple freebies.”
Pitcher Ryan Dusil (sophomore, Cedar Rapids, Kennedy HS) took the loss, allowing four earned runs on nine hits while walking two and striking out two. He’s 4-2.
The Dutch travel to Mount Vernon Friday and Saturday to take on Cornell (8-25 overall, 5-12 conference). The three-game series begins at 6 p.m. Friday.
“Cornell is a much improved club. They’re playing really tough and we have to play better this weekend if we want to win some games.”