PELLA—Hits were scarce but Central College center fielder Sam Stetzel and second baseman Adam Ariola delivered the game-winning two-out blasts as the Dutch overcame Cornell College with a three-run ninth inning Saturday, sweeping the three-game Iowa Conference set with a 4-3 win.
The teams hustled through four scoreless innings before Cornell posted a run with two singles and a sacrifice fly. The Rams added two tallies in the seventh utilizing a walk, hit batsman and error to take a 3-0 lead. Cornell hurler Andrew Patzke held the Dutch to just two hits in 5.2 innings.
"Give Cornell credit," coach Adam Stevens said. "They shut us down for a big part of the game. We had way too many fly outs and struggled to get the offense going."
But the Dutch refused to be silenced. Designated hitter Ryan Allison broke through the defense with an eighth-inning single and advanced to second on a walk. He crossed the plate on a right-side single from left fielder Caleb Rangel.
Central attacked again in the ninth. Catcher Max Seeman punched a one-out single through the middle and advanced to third on a left-field double from first baseman Seth Carson. With two outs, Ariola singled to drive in both runners and knot the score at 3-3. Then Ariola scored the game-winning run when Stetzel singled up the middle.
"We found a way to win," Stevens said. "We couldn't string hits together all day but we had good at-bats in the ninth. We finally hit some hard balls to come back and get the win."
Freshman Judson McKown got the win on the mound, shutting out the Rams in the last two innings. Senior D.J. Glasgow tossed the sixth and seventh, yielding two hits while starter Dirk Lindaman threw five innings, striking out four and allowing one run on five hits.
"Dirk really battled through a tough start to get out of innings without runs," Stevens said. "We talk a lot about limiting big innings in a nine-inning game because you don't know what runs will beat you. You've got to get out of early jams and that was the difference today."
Central topped the Rams 3-0 and 11-3 in Friday's doubleheader to improve to 21-13 overall with an 11-8 league mark. Cornell dropped to 3-25 overall and 1-19 in the conference.
Six seniors – Allison, Rangel, Glasgow, Jarred Lackey, Anthony Miller and David Lakin – were recognized before the game. The class is among the most successful in the program's history, compiling 87 wins, including a program's best 27 season wins in 2010.
"It turned out to be an exciting Senior Day," Stevens said. "We still have a lot to play for and we'll carry the momentum into next week."
The Dutch complete a three-game series with Buena Vista Univ. Tuesday in Pella at the A.N. Kuyper Athletics Complex field. The doubleheader begins at 1 p.m. Central was defeated 9-7 in last week's nine-inning game at Storm Lake. A video webcast and live stats will be available through the Central athletics website at www.central.edu/athletics.