INDIANOLA, Iowa – After finding itself on the losing end of a pair of one-run games last weekend, the Simpson baseball team ended up on the right end on Saturday, beating Luther 2-1 and 7-6 (10) in the first two games of a four-game set.
The Storm (7-12, 3-7 Iowa Conference) and the Norse (7-11, 3-7) moved Sunday's doubleheader up to a 10:30 a.m. start due to the threat of early afternoon thunderstorms.
Game 2: Simpson 7, Luther 6 (10)
Jake Barr ignited the Simpson dugout with a 1-out triple and Brett Crable followed with a walk-off single as Simpson earned the sweep with a 7-6 win over Luther in game two.
Simpson led 6-3 after the sixth but gave up three unearned runs – two in the eighth and one in the ninth – to allow Luther to force the extra frame.
Barr finished 2-for-6 with two runs scored, but proved just as valuable in the field. He made a diving stab to rob Matt Larson of a sure hit on a liner that would have put Luther in business in the sixth.
Tyler Craig helped give Simpson its 6-3 lead with a two-RBI single in the sixth. Crable added a run on a passed ball in the same inning.
Matt Pennings (2-2) threw three innings in relief for the win. He was on pace to earn the save before Luther tied the game in the ninth on a Mitch Knippenberg single. Eric Jones threw three innings of one-hit ball in middle relief and Brock Borgeson retired the three batters he faced in the seventh.
Knippenberg went 3-for-5 with three RBIs to lead Luther and Jake Scieszinski drove in three on a double in the first for Simpson.
Game 1: Simpson 2, Luther 1
Simpson took advantage of a throwing error by the pitcher to score two runs in the third, enough for a 2-1 win over Luther in game one.
With Blake Heitmeier on first after an infield single, Crable tried to lay down a sacrifice bunt to put a runner in scoring position. Pitcher Alec Knop fielded the bunt, but was rushed by the speedy and Crable and overthrew first base. Heitmeier came around to score on the play and Crable advanced to third, eventually scoring on an RBI-groundout by Barr.
Gage Reis (2-1) picked up the win in relief, holding Luther hitless in his three innings on the mound. Pennings retired the side in order in the seventh for his second save of the season.