Berea, Ohio – April 21, 2010 – The no. 8 ranked Heidelberg University baseball team, under the guidance of 11th-year head coach Matt Palm, came alive in a doubleheader sweep of Baldwin-Wallace College. The Berg won 4-3 in game one and returned to register a season-best 27 hits en route to a 24-5 victory in the night cap.
The sweep improves Heidelberg to 26-6 on the year and 7-3 in league action, while the Yellow Jackets are 8-18 and 3-7.
In the opener, Gar Keen (Sparta, Ohio / Highland) erased two early outs in Heidelberg’s first at bat with a home run to right field for an early 1-0 lead.
Heidelberg extended its lead in the fourth with three straight hits to start the inning. Willie Brechun (Canton, Ohio / Canton Central Catholic) led things off with a single through the left side and advanced to third by a Jason Lash (Strongsville, Ohio / Strongsville)double to right field. Alex Monroe (Chagrin Falls, Ohio / Kenston) followed suit with a bases clearing single up the middle to give the Berg a 3-0 advantage.
In the bottom of the fourth, B-W began to cut into its deficit. With runners on the corners, Scott Nealon scored on a fielder’s choice by Anthony Longhitano. Brendan Toughey followed with an RBI double to pull the Yellow Jackets within a run, 3-2.
With the infield drawn in, Ricardo Lizcano (Toledo, Ohio / Roy C. Start) gave the Berg an insurance run in its last at bat. Lizcano had an RBI single to left field to knock in Derek Andrzejczak (Sylvania, Ohio / Sylvania-Northview), who led the inning off with a double.
The Yellow Jackets plated an unearned run with two outs in its last at bat, but the Berg held on for the 4-3 victory.
Combining for the win was freshman right-handed starter Ethan Holt (Galion, Ohio / West Holmes) and junior closer Andy Lowe (Fort Wayne, Ind. / Carroll). Holt threw a six-hitter through 5.2 innings of work, while striking out four. He gave up two runs and walked two. For the year Holt stands at 6-1, which leads the pitching staff. Lowe pitched the final 1.1 innings and faced six batters, giving up just two hits. He recorded his eighth save on the year, which is one shy of his single-season record that he has set in each of his first two years.
At the plate, Heidelberg’s hitters combined for 11 hits. Lizcano led the way going 3-for-4 with two doubles and a run batted in. Lash was 2-for-2 with two RBI, a double and a run scored. Also picking up two hits was Brechun, to go along with a run scored.
In game two, Baldwin-Wallace jumped on the scoreboard first following its first at bat. Jim Martin connected for an RBI singled up the middle to score Matt Rollins for a 1-0 lead.
Heidelberg responded in its next at bat to take control of the game at 3-1. Andrzejczak was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to plate the first ’Berg run. Travis McClarney (Mt. Vernon, Ind. / Reitz) followed with a sacrifice fly to center field to score Monroe. The final Heidelberg run of the inning came off the bat of Steve Decker (Maumee, Ohio / Springfield), who knocked in Andrew Buelow (Marysville, Mich. / Marysville).
Baldwin-Wallace and Heidelberg traded scoring innings once again in the third. After holding the Berg scoreless in the top half, the Yellow Jackets returned to pull within a run, 3-2, due to a Heidelberg miscue. Rollins singled to left field and reached third on a two-base error by the Berg. He scored on the next batter, Nealon, who had an RBI single to center field. B-W went on to load the bases, but the Berg turned a double play up the middle to end the inning.
In the fourth, Heidelberg’s first four batters reached base safely to set the stage for a five hit, five run inning to extend it lead to 8-2. Knocking in runs in the inning was McClarney, Lizcano, Decker, Keen and Lash. McClarney and Lash each recorded doubles in the inning. The Berg defense kept B-W from home plate in the bottom of the inning, which was highlighted by its second double play up the middle.
The back and forth scoring innings by Heidelberg and B-W was halted in the fifth, when both sides were held scoreless.
Heidelberg made up for its scoreless fifth with an eight-run sixth. The Berg connected for seven hits and took advantage of two Baldwin-Wallace errors to open up a 14-run game at 16-2. Paving the way for the eight-run inning was a grand slam by Decker.
It was the same story at the plate for the Berg in the seventh. Heidelberg pounded eight hits and scored seven runs to push its lead to 23-2. Decker led the way once again with a bases clearing triple.
Baldwin-Wallace added a run in the bottom of the seventh and two more in the eighth, while Heidelberg was limited to just one score in the eighth to push the final score to 24-5.
The Heidelberg hitters finished with a season-best 27 hits in the win. Brechun led the way going 6-for-7 with three runs scored, a double and an RBI. Decker finished with three hits, nine runs batted in and three runs scored. He was a single away from hitting for the cycle. Also tallying three hits apiece was Lizcano, Keen, Buelow and Andrzejczak. Buelow scored four times, while Lizcano knocked in three runs.
Junior Brian Koehl (Sylvania, Ohio / Sylvania-Northview) got the start and went 6.0 innings. The right-hander gave up six hits, two runs, while striking out four to improve to 5-0 on the year.