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Comeback falls short in 12-10 loss to Luther

Comeback falls short in 12-10 loss to Luther

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – The Simpson baseball team nearly erased an eight-run deficit but left the bases loaded in the final at-bat, losing to Luther 12-10 on the first day of the Iowa Conference Baseball Tournament from Veterans Memorial Stadium on Thursday.

Bud Smith had five hits and five RBIs for the Storm (13-28), who trailed 11-3 after the fifth and plated four in the ninth to pull within two. Sixth-seeded Simpson will play fifth-seeded Dubuque in the first elimination game Friday at 10 a.m.

Friday's game can be viewed on SimpsonAthletics.com.

The third-seeded Norse (30-12) got three hits and four RBIs from Alex Weber and scored eight runs in the second inning to build an early 8-0 lead. A Storm error resulted in five unearned run in the big inning, leading to an early exit for Gage Reis (2-5).

Luther went on to knock off second-seeded Buena Vista 8-4 in the second game of the day.

Trailing 12-6 in the ninth, Simpson loaded the bases before getting an RBI fielder's choice from Trent Dooley and an RBI single from Luke Anctil. A Sawyer Ocheltree walk loaded the bases again for Bud Smith, who roped a two-RBI single to left for his fifth straight hit.

Jonathan Greiner walked to load the bases again, but first baseman Bryce Hingst made a tough, back-handed play and flipped to relief pitcher Ryan LaPage, who recorded one out to get the save.

Nate Beckman (9-2) struck out four and walked 10 in 8 2/3 innings for Luther. Curt Castenson, Tyler Englehardt and Jalen Sickels combined to allow just one run in 3 2/3 innings of relief.

Petry and Taylor Harmon had two hits apiece for Simpson, which left 14 runners on base.