Seven Wartburg errors in the final game of a four-game series with Simpson Sunday led to a 9-8 Storm victory and series split after the Knights took the first game of the day, 3-1.
The split lowers the Knights (13-9, 7-3) into a tie for first in the Iowa Conference with Loras.
Four of Simpson’s (13-9, 6-6) nine runs in the nightcap were unearned including half of the six it scored on Knights starter Chase Hirschauer.
Hirschauer gave up four hits and a walk while striking out two in 2 1/3 innings.
Wartburg had a chance to tie in the ninth when Simpson leftfielder Ethan Kain dropped a fly ball hit by Craig Kerper in the ninth, but Kain recovered and managed to throw out pinch-runner Brady Larson, who was running from third, at the plate.
Clay Emmrich lined into a double play on the next at-bat to end the game.
The Knights were the first to score, though, on Ryan Kemp’s RBI single and D.J. Utley’s RBI double in the top of the first.
Simpson scored two to tie the game in the second and broke open the lead in the third with a two-out rally, thanks in part to three Knight errors that could have ended the frame.
Wartburg tied the game at seven with three runs in the sixth, including Emmrich’s RBI double and Ryan Powers’ two-RBI single.
The Storm answered with two runs in the bottom half off Shane Chafa (0-1) to re-take the lead for good.
The Knights out-hit Simpson, which committed four errors of its own, 11-10.
Ryan Kemp was 2-for-3 with a home run, two RBI and two runs.
Michael Schinstock scattered eight hits over seven innings in the first game, allowing just one run and two walks while striking out eight to remain undefeated (3-0).
Joe Grote’s RBI double in the fourth inning that scored Jake Raecker proved to be the game-winner.
D.J. Utley added a solo home run in the sixth, his fifth long-ball of the season, to increase the lead to 3-1.
Craig Kerper produced a sac fly in the second.
Raecker was 2-for-3, the only Knight with more than one hit in the game.
Matt Pennings took the loss for the Storm despite a solid performance, giving up six hits, three runs and no walks while striking out five in seven complete innings.