Simpson splits twinbill in opener

CLARKSVILLE, Ark. – The Simpson baseball team began the 2010 season in Arkansas, splitting a Saturday doubleheader with the University of the Ozarks at Lonnie Qualls Field.

Ozarks (1-5) took the first game, 6-4 while the Storm (1-1) won game two, 9-5.

Game Two
Shortstop Dave Johnson (West Des Moines, Iowa/Valley) went 2-for-5 with a two-run homer in game two. Scott Ethell (Knoxville, Iowa/Knoxville) had three hits and Grant Thomas (Indianola, Iowa/Indianola) also drove in a pair of runs. Kyle Hanna (Ankeny, Iowa/Ankeny) earned the win on the mound, tossing five innings and allowing eight hits and three runs (two earned).

Scoreless for the first three innings, Simpson plated the game's first runs in the top of the fourth. Ethell led off the inning with a single and came around to score one batter later on Johnson's homer to left-center. Brad Agan (Knoxville, Iowa/Knoxville) doubled in the next at-bat, scoring on a two-out RBI single by Thomas.

Simpson broke the game wide-open with a five-run fifth. Agan and Colton Calvert (St. Charles, Iowa/I-35) drove in runs with base hits followed by a two-RBI double by Thomas. Corey Rasmussen (West Des Moines, Iowa/Valley) closed the scoring when he was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.

Hanna (1-0) struck out four batters in his first start of the season, surrendering three runs in the fifth inning. Kyle Ruhle (Cherokee, Iowa/Washington) and Mike Huyser (Indianola, Iowa/Indianola) split the final four innings with each giving up a run. Huyser struck out three in his two innings of work.

Game One
Rasmussen went 3-for-4 with a two-run homer in game one, as the Storm managed only five hits in the seven-inning game. Clint Rhodes (Legrand, Iowa/East Marshall) took the loss, pitching four innings and allowing three earned runs. Rhodes (0-1) struck out six on the day.

Trailing 3-2 after the third inning, Simpson scored twice in the top of the fourth to take a 4-3 lead.

Ozarks took the lead with a pair of runs in the bottom of the fifth.

Simpson is off until its spring break trip to Arizona March 14-19. There the team will take part in the Russ Matt Invitational, where it will play nine games. The Storm are set to play doubleheaders with Keene State, Augsburg, Dickinson and Carleton and a single game with Johns Hopkins.