Central baseball team splits again in Illinois

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JACKSONVILLE, ILLINOIS — The Central College baseball team won a high-scoring 11-8 affair in the team’s second contest Sunday against Robert Morris University – Peoria (Ill.), salvaging a split after 5-4 loss against Rockford University (Ill.) in the morning.

In Central’s (2-2) win over Robert Morris, nine of the eleven runs were driven in by either third baseman Ben Wallace (sophomore, Knoxville) and right fielder Pat Diemer (junior, West Des Moines, Waukee HS). Wallace had a three-run double in the second inning and a two-run home run in the seventh. Diemer had two home runs in the game, including a two-run blast of his own in the seventh.

“They are in the middle of our lineup so we are counting on them to hit well,” coach Matt Schirm said. “We’ll need them to continue doing that especially when we get into conference season.”

Kyle Wright (junior, Manchester, West Delaware HS) was credited with the win after allowing just one run in three innings of relief. Nathan Schwanke (junior, Omaha, Neb., Concordia HS), who took the loss against Rockford, earned the save.

“Nathan was still feeling good,” Schirm said. “I wanted him to get the bad taste out of his mouth after that first game so we let him go back out there and get the save.”

Central held a 4-1 lead against Rockford heading into the eighth inning before allowing three runs in the eighth and a walk-off single in the ninth. Landon Vander Leest (sophomore, Pella), getting his first start on the mound, struck out six in four innings of work.

Left fielder Joe Rebik (senior, Marshalltown) had two hits against Rockford, including a two-run home run.

“That’s what we need from Joe in the cleanup spot,” Schirm said “His home run was a no-doubter off the bat.”

The Dutch will return to Jacksonville next weekend for a three-game set against MacMurray University (Ill.), starting Saturday at 1 p.m.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do offensively,” Schirm said. “We’ve spent a lot of time working on baserunning this year and I wasn’t very happy with how it went this weekend. It’ll be a big area of emphasis for us going into next week.”