Larry Happel, Sports Information Director
PELLA — After a tough stretch of losses, the Central College baseball team picked up an 8-3 win over Simpson College on Tuesday afternoon.
The win gives Central (17-10, 7-9 American Rivers Conference) some momentum back following consecutive losses. Simpson fell to 11-13 (3-10 conference) on the season.
“It was good to see us get back on track offensively,” coach Matt Schirm said. “We had more hard-hit balls and quality at-bats. We’ve struggled to do that over the last week. Hopefully this gets us some momentum for the weekend against Dubuque.”
Belting his team-high third home run of the season, shortstop Garrett Saunders (senior, Bonaparte, Van Buren HS) got the offense started with a two-run blast in the bottom of the first inning. He drove in two more runs with a single in the sixth for a total of 4 RBIs.
“Garrett is the engine for our offense,” Schirm said. “When he is going good, our offense typically goes good.”
Tanner Wood (senior, right fielder, Pella) had two RBIs after a solo home run in the fourth and a sacrifice fly in the fifth. He leads the team with 30 RBI on the season.
Catcher Trevor Kimm (junior, Urbandale), first basemen Ryan Bouwman (senior, Bloomington, Ill., Normal HS) and third basemen Ben Wallace (freshman, Knoxville) each had two-hit games from the No. 6 and No.7 spots in the lineup, respectively. Bouwman and Kimm scored two runs each and Wallace had two RBIs.
“Ben is extremely talented,” Schirm said. “He’s had sporadic opportunities but we’re giving him some more consistent opportunities and seeing what he can do with them.”
Left-handed pitcher Adam Carey (senior, Pella) took the win after scattering six hits and allowing just one run. He had one strikeout and two walks.
“That was a huge start for us,” Schirm said. “He stepped up for us as a senior captain and got us what we needed.”
Relievers Marcus Wenzel (sophomore, Chicago, Ill., Luther North College Prep), Nathan Schwanke (sophomore, Omaha, Neb., Concordia HS) and Ryan Riddle (sophomore, Omaha, Neb., Mount Michael HS) closed out the game by allowing two runs in the final four frames.
Central hosts a three-game series against Dubuque on Friday at 3 p.m. A video webcast and live stats of Friday’s action can be accessed through the Central athletics website at athletics.central.edu.