INDIANOLA, Iowa - The Simpson baseball team dropped a doubleheader to Wartburg on Sunday, losing game one 13-2 and game two 8-6. The teams will finish their four-game set Monday afternoon beginning at 3:30 p.m.
Despite the 11-run loss in the opener, Simpson pulled off one of the rarest plays in baseball.
In the second inning with no outs and runners at the corners, Wartburg's Blake Mahoney hit a sharp ground ball to third baseman Jonathan Greiner. Greiner fired to shortstop Gage Reis covering second for the first out, who relayed to Hunter Hillygus at first for the second. Hillygus alertly fired home and catcher Bud Smith tagged out Mike Brown at the plate, completing the triple play.
Officially the play went down as a 5-6-3-2 triple play. A triple play is rare, but this triple play was especially rare. According to Baseball Almanac, a 5-6-3-2 triple play has NEVER happened in the 139-year history of the major leagues.
Ryan Kemp hit two, two-run home runs and the Knights (9-5, 2-0 Iowa Conference) pounded out 16 hits in the win. His first homer came in the a four-run fourth as Wartburg extended its lead to 6-0.
Austin Burlin hit his conference-leading fifth home run to lead off the fourth, one of the few blemishes on Taylor Gilson's record. The Wartburg starter allowed six hits and two runs - one earned - with three strikeouts in the complete-game win.
Jalen Sickels took the loss, giving up six runs - five earned - in four innings.
Zach Hovick drove in the game-winning run on a triple in the seventh. Milton Croes went 4-for-4 with a homer, Parker Bolt fanned six in seven innings and Gavin Nadermann retired the side in order in the ninth for the save.
Gage Reis went 3-for-4 and Burlin doubled twice. Simpson led 2-1 after the first and took a 3-2 lead on a throwing error in the second. Wartburg tied it up on a single by Tyler Willis in the fourth and took the lead for good on a wild pitch.
Brock Borgeson threw nearly 150 pitches in eight innings, allowing eight runs and striking out eight.