A 64-year drought came to an end Sunday in Mount Vernon. The Central College baseball team earned a 5-1, 2-1 doubleheader sweep of Cornell College to secure the program’s first outright Iowa Conference title since 1948 and it’s third overall. The Dutch also shared the league title in 1975 and 2006.
With a 1-0 lead after five innings of play in Sunday’s opener and the title-clinching victory in sight, Central surged to a three-run effort in the sixth. The Dutch added a security run in the seventh and Cornell mustered a two-out homerun in the bottom of the inning before the final out secured the league crown for Central. Center fielder Sam Stetzel was 3-for-4 in the opener with one RBI and one run scored as the Dutch amassed eight hits as a team, eclipsing Cornell’s six. Ryan Goetzinger did five innings of work as the starting pitcher, scattering five hits and striking out three batters. He improves to 3-4 on the season. Mike Werkheiser threw the final two innings.
Central harnessed the game-one momentum to take an early lead in the low-scoring nightcap, grabbing a one run lead in the first inning. Three Ram errors in the fourth helped Central bring in a second run. Cornell got on the board in the sixth, but Central’s defense held on for the victory. Junior Dirk Lindaman pitched a seven-inning complete game, allowing one earned run on four hits while striking out four and walking one.
The nightcap win gives Central it’s school-record 28th of the season, surpassing the previous mark of 27 set in 2010. The Dutch are 28-9 overall with an 18-5 league mark. Central hosts Buena Vista Wednesday in its final regular-season conference outing of the year. The Beavers handed Central two losses in doubleheader action at Storm Lake last week.