Klemm Dazzles, Propels North Central to CCIW Tournament Final

More news about: North Central (Ill.)

May 10, 2019 – Behind their best pitching performance of the season to date, Charlie Klemm's three-hit, complete-game shutout of Millikin University on Friday propelled the North Central College baseball team to tomorrow's College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin (CCIW) Championship for the third-straight season.

Two batters into the contest North Central, playing as the visiting team, took an early 1-0 lead as Matt Sutherland lined a leadoff double to left center and scored a few pitches later on a Jeremy Quade single to right in what proved to be the game-winning run.

After allowing a base hit to the first batter he faced, Klemm buckled down and did not allow another hit until the fifth inning.  In total, Klemm did not allow an extra-base hit and did not allow a runner past second base all game.

The offense added some insurance in the top of the seventh as Joe Rizzo singled to lead off the frame ahead of Ryan Scott.  After narrowly missing a homerun in the second innings, Scott redeemed himself on a two-strike pitch, catapulting a two-run shot over the left-center field fence for his second homerun of the season while giving the Cardinals some much needed breathing room.

North Central added another insurance run in the top of the ninth just for good measure, as Michael Stoltz drove home Rizzo with a RBI-single the other way.

Klemm improves to a CCIW-leading 8-0, the second most wins in a single season in program history, scattering three singles over his nine innings of work, striking out five and walking two.  Klemm's 71 strikeouts this season currently rank fifth in the single-season record books.

Scott paced the offense finishing 2-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored, while Stoltz finished 3-for-4 with a RBI and Rizzo added a pair of hits and two runs scored.

North Central will need to wait until the next three games of the tournament are completed before finding out their opponent for tomorrow's championship at 1 p.m. at Zimmerman Stadium. As the lone unbeaten team remaining, the Cardinals will have to be defeated twice in the final with the double-elimination format.