JACKSONVILLE, ILL.—Heading south for warmer weather, the Central College baseball team instead found snow flurries but the Dutch bats delivered enough firepower to fuel a 5-3 season-opening win over Carleton College (Minn.).
The second game of the scheduled doubleheader was cancelled due to the poor weather conditions. The fieldturf diamonds absorbed about an inch of rain fell Friday and temperatures in the 30s made playing conditions challenging.
Nonetheless, Dutch pitcher Joel Pulliam (junior, Des Moines, Lincoln HS) was in mid-season form, striking out 13 batters and walking three while holding Carleton without an earned run in 6.2 innings.
But freshman Michael Jontz (West Des Moines, Valley HS) got the win in his collegiate debut as he threw 1.1 innings of relief and the Dutch needed a 4-run eighth-inning rally for the victory. D.J. Glasgow (senior, Burlington) got the save.
Central broke on top in the fourth as Ryan Allison (senior, Rock Island, Ill.) singled home Caleb Rangel (senior, Rock Island, Ill., Alleman Catholic HS). But Carleton scored twice in the seventh and added a tally in the eighth for a 3-1 advantage as the Knights took advantage of three Central errors in the game.
In the bottom of the eighth, Central got run-scoring singles from Jarred Lackey (senior, Somerton, Ariz., Cibola HS) and Allen Mann (sophomore, Marshalltown).
"We had crazy conditions," coach Adam Stevens said. "But it was a typical first game. We made some mistakes that we really need to correct but give the guys credit, they came back in the eighth and found a way to win."
Pulliam was sharp, Stevens said.
"All of our pitchers had a great day," he said. "We would have liked to keep Joel throwing because he had really good stuff. But his pitch count was starting to get high and we had to get him out of there.
"But Michael Jontz did a nice job in his first game and D.J. (Glasgow) came in and pitched like a senior. He's got a lot of experience and got the save."
Loras College and Augsburg College (Minn.) were unable to play on an adjacent field, causing Sunday's schedule to be revised. Those two teams will play a single game at 10 a.m. and Central takes on Augsburg in a doubleheader starting at 1 p.m.
"This time of year we just need to play," Stevens said. "We have to get a lot better and hopefully we'll start getting better tomorrow."
at Jacksonville, Ill.
Carleton (Minn.) 000 000 210—3 4 1
Central 000 100 04x—5 5 3
Anderson, Shields (7), Fowl (8) and Bowen; Pulliam, Jontz (7), Glasgow (9) and Stanton. W—Jontz (1-0); L—Shields (0-1); Save—Glasgow (1). 2 hits: Carleton—Yong; Central—Allison, Lackey. Records: Carleton 0-1; Central 0-1