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