AUBURNDALE, Fla. — Central College and Vassar College (N.Y.) combined for 41 runs in 14 innings with the Dutch coming up on the wrong side of both baseball games Monday.
The Dutch (4-2) lost the opener 16-7 and fell again to the Brewers (6-5) 10-8 in the nightcap. Vassar totaled 27 hits, including eight extra-base knocks, on the day.
“You have to give Vassar credit, they are a very good offensive team,” coach Casey Klunder said. “Their offense made it tough for us.”
The starting pitcher in game one, Caleb Evans (senior, Davenport, Central HS) took the loss after allowing four runs in three innings. Reliever Sam Staley (senior, Cedar Rapids, Jefferson HS) was charged with eight runs in two innings of relief, but only one was earned. Mark Kenney (freshman, Fennimore, Wis.) was the losing pitcher in game two, giving up 10 runs in three innings.
Central’s pitching staff totaled 11 walks or hit by pitches and the defense committed five errors.
“We had too many poor defensive plays and not enough conviction on the mound for what we were trying to do and we paid the price for it today,” Klunder said.
Wes Hamor (sophomore, Tama, East Marshall HS) was a bright spot on the mound, tossing three scoreless innings in relief of Kenney, striking out four with one hit and no walks.
“He probably didn’t pitch the way he wanted to a week ago,” Klunder said “He came back ready to go this week and was outstanding.”
Caleb Douglass (sophomore, Windsor, Colo.) got the start behind the plate in the opener and went 3-for-4 offensively with a pair of runs scored.
“He put some really good swings on the ball,” Klunder said. “He caught a nice game, too.”
Designated hitter/first baseman Garrett Finley (senior, DeWitt, Central DeWitt HS) had four hits and three RBI. Right fielder Colton DeRocher (junior, Sioux City, East HS) three RBI and hits in each game, including a two-run homer in the second game. First baseman/third baseman Declan O’Hare (senior, Los Angeles, Calif., John Marshall HS) and second baseman Colton Jones (junior, Knoxville) each had hits in both games.
“We had a few good offensive performances today,” Klunder said. “We just couldn’t string them together. To beat a quality team you can’t give away as many at-bats as we did today.”
Another doubleheader awaits the Dutch at 9:15 a.m. (EST) Tuesday as they square off with Crown College (Minn.). The Polars (4-2) won 30 games last year and made the NCAA Division III baseball tournament.
“They will be a really tough test for us,” Klunder said. “We look forward to the challenge of tomorrow.”
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