INDIANOLA, Iowa – Sawyer Ocheltree capped off a miraculous comeback with a walkoff single and the Simpson baseball team clinched a spot in the Iowa Conference Tournament with an 11-10 win over No. 20 Buena Vista in game one, earning a doubleheader split Friday. Buena Vista won game two 10-1.
The Storm (13-25, 10-16) came back from seven runs down to win game one, ensuring a spot in the IIAC Tournament after missing out a year ago. The Beavers (29-9, 20-6) came back strong in game two, clinching the No. 2 seed in the IIAC Tournament.
Game 1: Simpson 11, Buena Vista 10
Ocheltree lined a single to right off Wes Onken - the top reliever in the league - with two outs in the seventh, capping off a four-run frame and completing an improbable comeback for the Storm.
Simpson trailed 7-0 in the third and 10-3 in the fifth before creeping back into the game. Bud Smith drove in a run in the fifth and the Storm got three more in the sixth to set up the seventh-inning dramatics. Luke Anctil singled to drive in a run, Austin Burlin drove in two on a single with two outs and Ocheltree set off a wild celebration with his liner to right, scoring Anctil.
Nick Carlisle (1-0) earned the win in relief, holding the top offense in the IIAC hitless over the final two innings. Simpson went through four pitchers in the first five innings before Carlisle settled things down. Burlin, Ocheltree and Smith all had three RBIs to lead the Storm.
Game 2: Buena Vista 10, Simpson 1
The Beavers got up early and held on thanks to a gem from Keenan Jones. Jones (4-3) held Simpson to four hits and one run over seven innings, fanning nine.
Noah Paper went 3-for-4 with three RBIs to lead Buena Vista. Trey Kehoe (0-2 ) gave up seven runs – six earned – in five innings in the loss.
Simpson closes the series with Buena Vista on Saturday beginning at 1 p.m.