INDIANOLA, Iowa – The Simpson baseball team showed a flair for the dramatic in a doubleheader sweep of Dubuque on Friday evening, coming back from four runs down to win the opener 7-6 and out-lasting the Spartans 5-4 in 11 innings in game two.
A sharp ground ball by Taylor Harmon got past a drawn in Dubuque infield to drive in the winning run in the opener, Simpson's fifth run of the inning after going into the seventh trailing 6-2. Then, in game two, Jake Scieszinski's bases-loaded, infield single scored the winning run to make a winner out of Brock Borgeson, who pitched all 11 innings.
Borgeson's performance was gritty, to say the least.
The junior threw 187 pitches, striking out 12 and giving up just eight hits and four runs – three earned – while walking only three. He seemed to get stronger as the game went on, allowing just two hits and striking out six in the final four frames.
Behind 2-0 in the second, Simpson tied the game 3-3 in the fifth and got an RBI single from Jake Esdohr to tie it up again at 4-4 in the sixth.
The pitchers took over from there, as Borgeson (3-2) held Dubuque off the board and Spartan reliever Tyler Trifiletti retired the first 13 batters he faced.
Simpson finally got to Trifiletti in the 11th. With runners at second and third, an intentional walk loaded the bases with one out. Trifiletti struck out Esdohr for the second out before Scieszinski hit a dribbler to first. Trifiletti, first baseman Austin McWhite and second baseman James Workman all converged on the grounder, allowing Scieszinski to reach safely while pinch-runner Nick Carlisle scored the winning run.
In game one, Dubuque built a comfortable 6-2 lead after six innings.
Harmon led off the seventh by reaching on an error that would come back to haunt Spartan starter Josh Eastman. Austin Burlin lined a two-run homer over the wall in right center field, Gage Reis doubled in a run to make it 6-5 and Jonathan Greiner's RBI singled tied the game 6-6. A single by Luke Anctil chased Eastman and Bud Smith singled to load the bases with two outs.
Harmon drove in the winning run in his second at-bat of the inning, hitting a hard ground ball at drawn-in shortstop Ryan Karrick. The hot-shot took a bad hop off the infield grass, ricocheted off Karrick's shoulder and reached the outfield, allowing pinch-runner Ethan Kain to score the winning run.
Daultan Gibson (1-3) got the win in relief, allowing two runs – both earned – off five hits with two strikeouts and one walk in three innings. Smith went 3-for-4 with a double and Greiner had two RBIs.
Borgeson's 12 strikeouts are the most by a Simpson pitcher since 2008 and were two shy of tying the school record, set by Shawn Parker against Dubuque in 2004 … Borgeson faced 46 batters, the third-most in school history.
Simpson closes the season Saturday when it hosts Dubuque in the final doubleheader of the four-game set. First pitch is set for 1 p.m. at McBride Field. Simpson's four seniors – Esdohr, Scieszinski, Nick Anderson and Matt Pennings – will be recognized following game one.