Baseball: 2-4 spring break makes it less sunny

by Zach James

Simpson baseball didn’t waste any time in the Arizona sun getting their season off to a quick start, but it was anything but a vacation for the Storm.

Concordia-Chicago 4, Simpson 1

Jose Rodriguez had a rough first inning, and Simpson wasn’t able to bounce back from the four-run first. Rodriguez calmed down after that throwing seven scoreless innings.

Simpson’s lone run was drove in by Tyler Craig in the seventh-inning double to score Tyler Crandell.

Saint Mary’s (MN) 7, Simpson 6 (12 innings)

Jake Scienzinski had a triple while Tyler Crandell had a double, but it wasn’t enough for the Storm (4-4) falling in extra innings to Saint Mary’s.

Kyle Servais got the walk-off single off of Matt Pennings taking his first loss of the season.

Simpson had the lead heading into the bottom of the 12th thanks to a fielder’s choice off the bat of Brett Crable. Jake Esdorh scored.

Starting pitcher Aaron Young allowed three runs (all earned) in six innings of work. He also walked three and struck out two.

Simpson 18, Iowa Wesleyan 8

Why play in this snow when you can travel down to Arizona to play a team from Iowa? The Storm took on Iowa Wesleyan on March 4, and came away with their lone wins of spring break.

Game One had some fireworks. Tyler Craig finished a single shy of the cycle while pulling in five RBIs. His home run came in the third inning.

The Storm trailed prior to the longball, and they never surrendered the lead after that.

Brett Crable went 4-for-5, including a double of his own followed by two straight triples via Tyler Crandell and Craig.

Simpson beat up Iowa Wesleyan starter Vincent Cambruzzi forcing him to give up 10 runs, albeit just four earned runs. Simpson’s third win was awarded to Kyle Helmerson, who picked up his first win in relief.

Simpson 6, Iowa Wesleyan 4

Tyler Craig wasn’t finished with his offensive spark against Iowa Wesleyan. His two-run triple in the second was the highlight of a five-run inning. Tyler Crandell and Jake Barr scored off of Craig’s triple.

Brett Crable also went 2-for-3 in game two, including an RBI single in the second that advanced Blake Heitmeier and scored Pedro Rosa. Crable would later score.

Craig had his third triple of the afternoon and later scored in the fifth.

Gage Reis picked up his first win of the season turning in 5.2 innings, allowing two earned runs, but did strike out six.

Concordia (Ill.) 6, Simpson 0

Dan Kluss shut the Storm down in seven innings of work striking out nine batters and walking just one. He allowed six hits, including doubles to Jake Esdorh and Tyler Crandell.

Simpson threw four pitchers out to the mound in their second game in the Southwest. Jose Rodriguez started out allowing one run in three innings. His efficiency was solid — 24 of his 36 pitches were strikes.

Aaron Young also saw some action having a very similar line to Rodriguez. Young threw 44 pitches in three innings, allowing one run off six hits. Neither starting pitcher struck out an opponent while each allowed a walk. Rodriguez took the losing decision. Matt Pennings and Brock Borgeson each saw an inning of relief pitching.

Howard Payne 6, Simpson 5

Despite starting spring break with a three-run first inning, Howard Payne came back in the top of the eighth to beat the Storm.

Ben Butler got a single off of Jose Rodriguez to put the Yellow Jackets on top. Butler ended up with three RBI.

Five runs in the seventh and eighth innings helped the Yellow Jackets hand Simpson their second loss.

Tyler Craig went 2-for-4, including a triple that brought in Tyler Crandell in the eighth to inch closer to Howard Payne, but Carlton Brow shut the Storm down in order to close out the win for Howard Payne.

Aaron Young took his second loss of the season despite manager Ben Blake sending nine pitchers to the mound. Each pitcher threw an inning, and for Young, he lasted the first inning damaged. The Storm ace allowed three runs on four hits.