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Simpson sweeps Luther behind solid pitching

INDIANOLA, Iowa – Scott Ethell (Knoxville, Iowa/Knoxville) hit a home run for the second day in a row and Simpson got quality starts from Clint Rhodes (Legrand, Iowa/East Marshall) and Mike Huyser (Indianola, Iowa/Indianola) in a doubleheader sweep of Luther Saturday afternoon at McBride Field. Simpson won both games 5-2.

With the wins, the Storm (9-5, 3-0 IIAC) sweep the series against Luther after taking a 7-6, 10-inning decision Friday night.

Ethell did most of his damage in game one. He went 3-for-3 with three RBIs, including a two-run homer as part of a five-run fifth inning for the Storm.

With the game tied 2-2 entering the bottom of the fifth, centerfielder Corey Rasmussen (West Des Moines, Iowa/Valley) legged out a leadoff triple to begin the rally. He scored in the next at-bat when Dave Johnson (West Des Moines, Iowa/Valley) stroked an RBI single to center and Ethell did the rest with his third home run of the season and second in as many games.

Rasmussen not only sparked Simpson's big inning, but denied Luther a chance to narrow the deficit in the sixth. With runners on first and third and two outs in the inning, Norse leadoff hitter Jeff Riddle took a Rhodes delivery sailing toward the fence in centerfield.

Retreating to his right, Rasmussen tracked the ball down at the warning track just before crashing into the wall. He held on, preserving the 5-2 lead and robbing Riddle of extra bases.

Rhodes (2-1) went six innings and allowed only two runs in the win, striking out three. Paul Brown (Polk City, Iowa/North Polk) pitched the final inning in earning his first save of the season.

Ryan Bahnemann went 3-for-3 to lead the Norse (8-6, 0-3). Cody Hyland went five innings and allowed all five Simpson runs in the loss.

Simpson dented the plate early in game two, taking a 4-1 lead after the first inning. Colton Calvert (St. Charles, Iowa/I-35) and Drew Yarkosky (Albia, Iowa/Albia) each drove in two runs in the frame and Yarkosky scored Simpson's final run off a single by Rasmussen in the fourth.

The Storm made the most of their hits in the game, plating five runs off five hits while surrendering nine hits to the Norse.

Huyser (2-1) went six innings in the win, allowing two runs while striking out three. Chris Dorff (Urbandale, Iowa/West Des Moines Valley) earned his third save of the season, striking out two in the final inning.

Chris Reynolds, Ben Schott and Ryan Bahnemann all had two hits for Luther. Max Flaig went the distance on the mound, suffering the loss.

Simpson continues Iowa Conference play with a three-game series at Coe next weekend. The two teams will play a nine-inning game Friday, April 2 at 3 p.m. followed by a doubleheader Saturday starting at 1 p.m.

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