2012 Iowa Conference champions
PELLA—After a 4-3, 13-inning opening-game stumble, the Central College baseball team rallied with a 3-1 victory to gain a split in its Iowa Conference doubleheader with Buena Vista University Friday.
Central ace Ryan Dusil (junior, Cedar Rapids, Kennedy HS) powered the Dutch in the nightcap, scattering six hits over seven innings to improve to 4-1. He allowed one earned run with one walk and three strikeouts.
“Everything was working for Ryan and he had a great game,” coach Adam Stevens said. “After such a tough loss in the opener we needed a solid effort on the mound.”
The Beavers (17-15 overall, 9-11 conference) plated a run in the first inning but the Dutch (16-13 overall, 8-10 conference) posted single tallies in each of the first three frames.
Third baseman Adam Ariola (junior, Bloomington, Ill., Normal HS) and first baseman Seth Carson (senior, Woodridge, Ill., Downers Grove South HS) both scored and drove in runs while center fielder Sam Stetzel (senior, Perry) went 3-for-4 with an RBI. The Dutch committed just one error.
“We scored just enough to win and played good defense behind Ryan,” Stevens said. “You’ve got to give our players a ton of credit. To come back from such a mentally draining first game is tough to do.”
In the opener, Buena Vista took a 3-0 lead after three innings. The Dutch bats came to life in the fifth with a two-run double from designated hitter Robbie Rushing (junior, West Des Moines, Valley HS). Behind 3-2 in the seventh and down to its last out, Central scratched out the game-tying run with another Rushing double down the right-field line.
“We were down to our last strike and Robbie came up with a big hit,” Stevens said. “He’s certainly one of our best hitters and we like having him up to bat with runners in scoring position.”
After five scoreless frames, the Beavers pulled out a run in the 13th with two outs on a walk and back-to-back singles. Central battled back and had the game-tying run in scoring position when Ariola sliced a single down the left-field line and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt. But the Beavers caught Ariola stealing third to claim the win.
“When it’s a hard day to score you have to try and make things happen and sometimes being aggressive can come back and bite you,” Stevens said. “But we don’t ever fault our players for being aggressive. That’s how we like to play.”
The Dutch had nine hits and left nine base runners stranded.
“We threatened but we just couldn’t get a hit with runners in scoring position,” Stevens said.
Junior Judson McKown (Maple Plain, Minn., Orono HS) was charged with the loss and fell to 3-4. He allowed three hits and one run in six innings while walking three and striking out two.
The two teams close out the four-game series Saturday with a 1 p.m. twinbill at the A.N. Kuyper Athletics Complex field. A video webcast and live stats can be accessed through Central’s athletics website at www.central.edu/athletics.