April 11, 2014

Storm drop doubleheader to Buena Vista; Saturday's games moved up

INDIANOLA, Iowa - The Simpson baseball team dropped both halves of Friday's doubleheader against No. 24 Buena Vista, losing 4-0 in game one and 7-5 in game two.

Due to the threat of afternoon thunderstorms, the final two games of the series have been moved up to a 10 a.m. start Saturday.

A rocky first inning spoiled an otherwise solid outing by Gage Reis in the opener and the offense stranded 12 runners in the nightcap on Senior Day for the Storm (13-13, 6-10 Iowa Conference).

Tyler Craig had a four-hit day, including a 3-for-5 effort in game two.

Reis (2-3) struggled to find the strike zone in the top of the first inning in the opener. He issued four walks, hit a batter and threw a wild pitch, allowing the Beavers (21-5, 10-4) to score four runs off two hits and take a 4-0 lead.

He settled down after that, allowing just three hits in the final six innings, finishing with seven strikeouts.

The Simpson offense didn't have an answer for Buena Vista starter Jon Ringblom, who struck out nine in the shutout. Ringblom (4-1) gave up just three hits and carried a no-hitter into the fourth, when Craig reached on a bunt single with one out.

Just as it did in game one, a four run inning tripped up Simpson in game two.

Buena Vista broke a 2-2 tie with four runs in the sixth and held on down the stretch. Nick Schlecht drove in two on a double off the wall in right as the visitors tallied five hits in the inning.

Simpson trailed 7-3 going into its last at-bat when Josh Pirtle doubled to drive in two and make it 7-5 with two outs. But with runners on first and second, Bud Smith became Simpson's 14th strikeout victim of the game to end it.

The Storm stranded runners in five innings, including leaving the bases loaded in the second and third.

Matt Pennings (3-3) gave up 12 hits and six runs - five earned - in seven innings. Scott Harris (4-0) went six innings and struck out nine in the win.