CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - The Simpson baseball team rode a strong outing by Matt Pennings in game one to split with Coe in the final regular season doubleheader of the season, winning game one 2-1 before coming up short 4-3 in game two Friday.
The game one win gave the Storm (20-20, 12-16 Iowa Conference) the No. 5 seed in next week's conference tournament. The Kohawks (15-22, 11-17) clinched a spot in the tournament with the game two win and will have the No. 6 seed.
Game 1: Simpson 2, Coe 1
Austin Burlin drove in the winning run on a sacrifice fly in the sixth and Pennings threw a five-hitter as Simpson topped Coe 2-1 in the opener.
The Storm cemented a spot in the conference tournament by winning for the fifth time in six games.
Pennings (6-3) surrendered just one unearned run, striking out two in his sixth complete-game of the season. He closes the regular season 5-2 against the Iowa Conference.
Burlin and Josh Pirtle had two hits apiece to lead a Simpson offense that produced seven hits in the game. Burlin flew out to center on an 0-1 pitch with runners at first and third in the sixth inning, breaking the 1-1 tie. Jake Scieszinski scored the winning run after leading off the inning with a walk.
Pennings allowed a base hit with one out in the seventh before getting Andrew Brierton to ground into a 3-6 double play to stop the rally before it started.
Game 2: Coe 4, Simpson 3
Simpson advanced the tying run to second with one out in the ninth but Jake Tickle retired the next two batters and Coe hung on for the 4-3 win in game two.
Bud Smith led off the ninth with a single and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Burlin but was left stranded. Pirtle popped out to first and Brett Crable grounded out to short to give Tickle his fourth save of the season.
Simpson trailed 4-1 until Scieszinski drove in runs in the sixth and eighth. He brought in Craig each time, on a single in the sixth and a groundout in the eighth.
Craig Konrardy had two hits and an RBI and Conner Alberhasky (3-4) went eight innings for the Kohawks.
Coe broke open a 1-1 game with three runs in the third. A.J. Reuter hit a sacrifice fly, Konrardy drove in a run on a base hit and Thomas Shaedel walked and scored on a passed ball.
Simpson advances to next week's Iowa Conference Tournament, which takes place May 8-10 at Daniels Park and Veteran's Memorial Stadium in Cedar Rapids. With the No. 5 seed, the Storm will face No. 4 seed Loras in Thursday's opening round.
Simpson advances to the IIAC Tournament with the No. 5 seed for the second year in a row and for the third time since 2010 … the last two times Simpson was the No. 5 seed – 2010 and 2013 – the Storm advanced to the final day of the tournament and finished third … Simpson won 3 of 4 against Loras during the regular season.