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Storm fall short on senior day

L-R: Head coach Nathan Roling, Devon Veach, Steve Carlson, Nathan Carlin, assistant coaches Ethan Westphal and Trent Dooley
L-R: Head coach Nathan Roling, Devon Veach, Steve Carlson, Nathan Carlin, assistant coaches Ethan Westphal and Trent Dooley

INDIANOLA, Iowa -- The Simpson baseball team tried to play the spoiler on Saturday but could not take the series from Luther and lost 4-3 and 5-3 in 10 innings to close out the 2019 season.

In between the two games, the Storm (13-23, 5-19 A-R-C) honored its three seniors, Nathan Carlin, Devon Veach and Steve Carlson. Carlin finished with 97 starts in 103 appearances and had 69 hits. Veach saw action in 24 contests on the mound and Carlson was a three-year manager for the team.

Simpson finishes with a five-win improvement from a year ago and six from the season before. The team showcased a young lineup and started five freshman in both contests today.

Luther 4, Simpson 3
Simpson climbed to a 1-0 lead in the fourth after Nathan Carlin stole home. The Norse (22-18, 15-9 A-R-C) retaliated with a run in the fifth to put it back at a tie but the Storm responded with a run in the lower half when Devin Creger scored on an infield single from Noah Sacco.

Luther went back on top at 3-2 in the sixth on a two-run blast to right field.

In the seventh, Simpson played small ball with two singles and were able to score a runner to tie it at 3-3, but could not hang on as the visitors scored in the eighth to regain the advantage for good.

The Storm put up 11 hits at the plate, while Truman Schmitt and Carlin both had triples. Schmitt and Kolton Arnold both delivered two base hits.

Brady Held turned in a strong effort on the hill and went for six innings of work and struck out six batters.

Wartburg 5, Simpson 3 (10 innings)
In the rubber match, Simpson scored first for the second time today, this time coming in the first. The Norse were trying to be tricky and their catcher went to pick off Schmitt at second, but sent the ball sailing into the outfield that allowed Held to trot home from third.

Luther pushed a run across in the fifth to tie it at 1-1, but the Storm took back the advantage in the bottom half after Luke Willis scored on a wild pitch. In the sixth, Simpson made it 3-1 on a double from Creger that sent Carlin home.

The Norse scored in the seventh and eighth innings to tie it at 3-3. Simpson had a chance to win it in the ninth with a runner on third with two outs, but Held grounded out to second to end the threat.

Luther wasted no time in taking the lead in the 10th and scored two runs through the first three batters that stepped up to bat and held on to clinch the series.

Tanner Jansen started on the mound and went four innings of no-run ball. Veach came in relief for the last time in his Storm career and tossed 1.1 innings. Brett Kauzlarich was handed the loss.

As a unit, Simpson had eight hits and three went for extra bases.