CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa -- Although a conference tournament berth was out of the picture, the Simpson baseball team could still play the role of spoiler against head coach Nathan Roling's former team in the regular season finale on Saturday.
And that's exactly what the Storm did.
Hunter Hillygus drove in the game-winning run in game one, Truman Schmitt had three RBIs in game two, and Simpson swept Coe 5-3 and 11-6 to spoil the home team's hopes of an Iowa Conference Championship.
Noah Sacco had three hits in game two and Trey Kehoe picked up both wins for the Storm (8-28, 6-17 Iowa Conference), who closed the season by winning 4 of 6. Saturday's sweep and last week's series win over Buena Vista gave Simpson back-to-back series wins against conference tournament teams to close the 2018 season on a high note.
The Kohawks (22-16, 14-8) came into the day with a chance at the regular season title but had to settle for the No. 3 seed in the upcoming IIAC Tournament.
The Storm beat Coe in a regular season series for the first time since 2008, three years before Roling joined Coe's staff as an assistant.
Simpson 5, Coe 3
Hillygus drove in the go-ahead run in the seventh, Kehoe provided an insurance run to help his own cause and Simpson held on to beat Coe 5-3 in game one.
Helped by a Coe error that extended the inning, Hillygus brought in Jared Herzog on a groundout with one out in the seventh to put Simpson ahead 4-3. Kehoe singled through the right side to score Sacco for the two-run advantage.
Kehoe (1-6) entered the game with two outs in the sixth and retired 8 of 9 batters before giving up a one-out double to Nolan Arp in the ninth. Sexton entered the game with two outs and runners at first and third, ending the game by picking off pinch-runner Cameron Frazier.
Simpson jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the third when Kolton Arnold's single scored Sacco and Hillygus scored on an outfield throwing error. Brandon Urias drove in the first run of the game on a base hit to left in the second inning.
Kevin DeLaney went 2-for-4 with two runs and an RBI for Coe.
Curt Castenson retired the first eight batters he faced in the no-decision. He allowed five hits and three runs -- two earned -- without a walk in 5 1/3 innings.
Curt Castenson — 5.1 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 2 Ks
J Lowery — 0.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 Ks
Trey Kehoe — W (1-6), 3.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K
Colin Sexton — S (1), 0.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 Ks
Simpson 11, Coe 5
Sacco had three hits and Schmitt two, including a two-run double in the fourth, and Kehoe had another solid relief outing for his second win of the day as the Storm earned the sweep.
Schmitt doubled off David Keaton (1-4) to score two in the fourth, closing a four-run inning that opened up an 8-1 Simpson lead. Herzog plated an RBI single and Sacco lifted a sacrifice fly to begin the big inning.
Coe pulled within 8-5 after a four-run fourth. But Urias and Carlin drew back-to-back, bases-loaded walks and Kehoe added a sacrifice fly, all in the sixth, to extend the lead to 11-5.
Kehoe (2-6) closed the game on the hill, giving up one run off four hits with two strikeouts in the final 4 1/3 innings. He closed the season as Simpson's leader in batting average (.340) while posting the second-best ERA (5.19).