2012 Iowa Conference champions
CEDAR RAPIDS—Clutch hits escaped the Central College baseball team Sunday as the Dutch were swept by Coe College, 11-5 and 8-4, in Iowa Conference action.
The Kohawks improved to 15-8 overall with a 10-2 league mark and won three out of the four-game series after a split in Saturday’s doubleheader. Central dropped to 13-8 overall with a 5-5 conference record.
Coe outhit Central 21-17 and took advantage of five Dutch errors and eight walks. Central left 13 base runners stranded.
“Give the Kohawks credit, they played better than us in every stage of the game,” coach Adam Stevens said. “We threatened to score a bunch of times but didn’t quite come through with a two-out base hit like Coe did today.”
Coe maintained its lead in the opener after a four-run first inning. The Dutch battled back with three runs in the third frame to come within two at 5-3. Second baseman Spencer Gritsch (freshman, Brooklyn, BGM HS) drove in first baseman Seth Carson (senior, Woodridge, Ill., Downers Grove South HS) before center fielder Sam Stetzel (senior, Perry) scored on a wild pitch. Carson crossed the plate on an Adam Ariola (third base, junior, Bloomington, Ill., Normal HS) sacrifice bunt.
The Dutch struck again in the fifth inning with two runs, both driven in by an Ariola shot to center field. But the Kohawks responded with three runs and then added three more in the sixth.
“We hit into a lot of double plays and left some players on base,” Stevens said. “Coe also capitalized on our mistakes and didn’t make many mistakes for us to capitalize on.”
Senior hurler Dirk Lindaman (Ankeny) recorded the loss. He allowed six earned runs on 13 hits and walked two. Lindaman is 3-2 on the year.
Central scored early in the nightcap with an RBI-double to right center from left fielder Robbie Rushing (junior, West Des Moines, Valley HS), but was held scoreless until the eighth frame. Gritsch scored on a fielding error and Stetzel scored on a Michael Jontz (pitcher, senior, West Des Moines, Valley HS) single to left center.
Meanwhile, the Kohawks posted three runs in the first, two in the second, one in the fifth and two in the eighth, pushing their lead to 8-3. Central chipped away in the ninth, bringing in a run on a two-out double to right field from shortstop Jordan Judkins (junior, Marshalltown), but the Kohawks ended the comeback attempt with a strikeout.
Jontz slipped to 0-1 on the mound, his first decision in five appearances, surrendering six runs on five hits in 5.0 innings of work. He struck out three and walked six.
Stetzel had three hits on the day and scored three times while Ariola drove in three runs.
Stevens said the Dutch need to learn from the weekend and move on.
“The great thing about baseball is that there’s always a tomorrow,” he said. “For us that comes pretty quick but we need to let today go and play better in the next game.”
Central faces Simpson College in a league doubleheader Monday at 3:30 p.m. in Indianola. The Storm split a twinbill with Luther College Sunday, falling 5-3 before rebounding with a 12-11 triumph. Simpson is 8-13 overall with a 4-8 conference mark.