PELLA — A ninth-inning walk-off win helped the Central College baseball team salvage a split against Nebraska Wesleyan University Friday afternoon.
Central (10-18, 7-15 American Rivers Conference) was victorious 8-7 in the second game following a 13-1 loss in the first game of the doubleheader against the Prairie Wolves (10-23, 8-18 conference).
Chris Hensley (senior, Ottumwa) started the bottom of the ninth with a walk and made his way to third base on sacrifice bunt and wild pitch. Lucas Farren (senior, Yorkville, Ill.) hit a ball deep in the hole at shortstop and beat the throw to first base to plate Hensley for the game-winning RBI.
Trailing 4-2 in the bottom of the sixth, pinch hitterCollin LeFeber (senior, Omaha, Neb., Central HS) hit a single to left field, notching an RBI and plating a second run due to an error. The Dutch would put up four in the inning.
“I’m so happy for Collin,” Schirm said. “He has come in here every day for four years and worked hard. We moved him up to the top of our pinch-hit list after his performance in the JV games Tuesday. His hit really ignited us so we left him in the lineup. He had another big at-bat for us later, I just can’t say enough about his performance.”
The first three batters in Central’s game two lineup combined for eight hits and four RBI. Left fielder Jared Kampf (junior, Peoria, Ariz., Mountain Ridge HS) and catcher Trevor Kimm (senior, Urbandale) both had three hits and Farren had two. Kimm drove in three runs.
“It’s good to see some of the hard hits actually get through and fall for them,” Schirm said. “We need them to be consistent in order for us to be in these games.
Kyle Wright (senior, Manchester, West Delaware HS) picked up the victory on the mound after three innings of solid relief, striking out four. Ryan Riddle (senior, Omaha, Neb., Mount Michael HS) started and went the first six innings with seven strikeouts.
Coach Schirm cited a group of players who did not get their names in the box score as a key part of the victory.
“I was really happy with the energy from the dugout,” Schirm said. “Even when we were down, it would have been easy to stay down but they stayed involved all day. That group, led by Jack Linforth (senior, Northbrook, Ill., Glenbrook North HS) really helped us play better in the second game.”
The two teams continue their series with a doubleheader at 1 p.m. tomorrow.