JACKSONVILLE, Ill. — The Simpson College baseball team led 5-1 through five and a half innings but fell victim to a late rally by St. Norbert and dropped its season opener by a score of 6-5.
Ty Cowley, who led the American Rivers Conference with 19 HBPs a year ago, was plunked on the second pitch of the game. After advancing to second on a wild pitch, Matthew Marquez launched Simpson's first home run of the season over the left field fence to put the Storm ahead 2-0. Brady Held doubled to left the next at-bat and eventually came home on a sacrifice fly by Zach Fuller.
The Green Knights (1-1) were the only team to score over the next four innings, getting one run back in the third. Simpson (0-1) extended its lead to 5-1 in the top of the sixth on an RBI triple by Ian Baldwin and a sacrifice fly from Brennan Lemke.
St. Norbert began its comeback in the home half of the inning and pulled within one thanks to three runs on three hits. The Green Knights took their first lead of the game two innings later when a pair of runners scored on an errant throw to first. Simpson put two runners on in the top of the ninth but was unable to level the game.
Trey Castile threw the first five innings for the Storm and allowed just one hit and one run while piling up six strikeouts in his first outing of the year. Mitchell Roeder (0-1) and Dylan Schlee made their Simpson debuts and Max Crooks pitched one out in the eighth.
Marquez and Baldwin combined for four of Simpson's seven hits, hitting a single, a double, a triple and a home run between the two of them. Marquez finished with two RBIs and scored twice.
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