Sophomore Andrew O’Toole didn’t enter the game until the fifth inning but he belted the game-winning hit at the plate as the Central College baseball team defeated Buena Vista University 3-1 Tuesday.
O’Toole came in for left fielder Michael Jontz, who scored Central’s first run in the fourth inning. Jontz singled and advanced to third on a throwing error in a pickoff attempt. He crossed the plate with a fielder’s choice, but was injured in the action at home. The Beavers tied the score in the fifth and the Dutch didn’t break through again until the bottom of the eighth.
Catcher Max Seeman led off with a single to left center and shortstop Mike Furlong reached with a hit by pitch. O’Toole then punched a single up the middle, driving in both Seeman and Furlong to take the lead.
Senior ace Joel Pulliam coaxed three straight groundouts in the ninth for the win, improving to 8-1. He pitched the complete game and allowed four hits and one earned run. Pulliam walked two and struck out five, becoming Central’s all-time career strikeouts leader with 221.
The Dutch avenged last week’s doubleheader loss to the Beavers for the senior day win and improved to 29-9 overall with a 19-5 Iowa Conference mark. Central captured the league title last weekend, its first outright championship since 1948.
The Dutch have lost only one of their 13 games at home this year. Central travels to Northfield, Minnesota, Saturday for a non-conference doubleheader against Carleton. It’s the final tune-up before the league tournament begins May 10.