Storm shut out Dubuque, clinch tournament berth
DUBUQUE, Iowa – Aaron Young threw a five-hit shutout, Michael Chia drove in two and the Simpson baseball team clinched a berth in next week's Iowa Conference Tournament with a 3-0 win over Dubuque on Friday afternoon.
Chia went 1-for-4 and Jake Barr 2-for-3 with an RBI for the Storm (17-21, 11-11 Iowa Conference), who snapped a four-game losing streak. Simpson won despite getting out-hit and striking out 10 times against Dubuque starter Paul Krenger.
Simpson broke a scoreless tie in the fifth when Blake Heitmeier was hit by a pitch and scored on Barr's single.
Chia added two insurance runs in the ninth when he singled home Heitmeier and Ethan Hale, who both walked earlier in the frame.
After going 0-4 despite a team-best 2.88 ERA in April, Young (4-6) picked up his first win in five starts. The left-hander struck out three and walked three, lowering his season ERA to 3.32.
The Spartans (17-21, 5-17) managed multiple base-runners in only two innings, getting their best chance when Phillip Elking and Jordan Gawronski got back-to-back singles with two outs in the seventh. Young got out of the jam by getting Noah Mahlik to fly out to left.
Krenger (2-3) allowed three hits in 8 1/3 and walked four, closing the season with a school-record 1.74 ERA.
The two teams conclude the final series of the regular season with a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m. Saturday.