AUBURNDALE, Fla. — In a contest that featured 23 runs on 29 hits, the Central College baseball team outlasted the Dickinson College (Pa.) Red Devils in a 12-11 victory Wednesday.
The Dutch (5-1) notched at least one run in the first five innings, putting up crooked numbers four times. It was only the second loss of the season for the Red Devils (6-2), who also scored three runs in a single inning three times.
“It was kind of a crazy game, a little bit different than what we experienced the first few days,” coach Matt Schirm said. “We gave up too many bases but our offense responded and the pitchers came up with big pitches when we needed them.”
Designated hitter Jon Rozeboom (junior, Waukee) blasted a double and a triple on back-to-back plate appearances in the fourth and fifth innings. It’s the juniors first season at Central after transferring in the fall.
“Jon had a pair of big hits,” Schirm said. “The triple probably was a home run if it wasn’t for the wind blowing in.
Second baseman Chris Riddle (senior, Omaha, Neb., Mount Michael HS) was able to tally four hits and four stolen bases. Two of his four hits were doubles.
“Chris had a big day,” Schirm said. “This was probably the best game of his career. He stole a couple of bases and made a really nice defensive play.”
An illness for starting pitcher Tyler Steward (sophomore, Norwalk) resulted in freshman Ben Wallace (Knoxville) getting his first start. He went 2.0 innings, striking out 1 and allow five hits.
“Tyler was supposed to be our No. 3 but has been unavailable,” Schirm said. “We weren’t planning for Ben to start today. He was coming off short rest, having pitched in relief on Monday.”
A.J. Pierce (sophomore, Ankeny, Centennial HS) and Marcus Wenzel (sophomore, Chicago, Ill., Luther College Prep) got the Dutch to sixth inning before Nathan Schwanke (sophomore, Omaha, Neb., Concordia HS) took over with one out. He struck out three in the next 2.2 innings before Ryan Riddle (sophomore, Omaha, Neb. Mount Michael HS) came on for his third save of the season in the 9th. Wenzel earned the win.
“Nathan was the best I’ve seen him” Schirm said. “He shut their offense down. Ryan and him are developing into back-end of the game type guys we can rely on. I think it will be huge for rest of the season if they can maintain it.”
The RussMatt Central Florida Invitational continues Wednesday with a nine-inning affair against Dickinson College (Pa.) at 10:30 a.m. in Auburndale.