Heidelberg entered the game in a tie for second place, but the sweep moved them to the top of the league with a 9-3 record, while JCU falls from its first place spot to a three-way tie for second with Marietta College and Otterbein College. All three are 8-4 in conference play. Heidelberg will look to keep a tight grip atop the OAC tomorrow when it entertains Otterbein in a 1:00 p.m. doubleheader that has been rescheduled from last weekend. For the year, Heidelberg improves to 28-6, while the Blue Streaks fell to 20-11.
Not only was Heidelberg battling for the top spot in the OAC, but the team, and its fans, rallied in the fight against cancer, in particular the battle against Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, which former ’Berg student-athlete J.J. Ciennik was diagnosed with in February. Ciennik played at the Berg in 2008 and 2009 before transferring this year to Wayne State University to play alongside his brother, Andrew. Ciennik is close friends with the members of the Heidelberg baseball team despite not wearing the colors of the Berg. All donations that were collected at the game were given to the Ciennik family to help with treatments.
Heidelberg’s Ethan Holt (Galion, Ohio / West Holmes) and JCU’s Tony Evanko came out strong on the mound in game one. Finally in the bottom of the third, Heidelberg’s offense got a jump start from Willie Brechun (Canton, Oho / Canton Central Catholic). With two outs, and one on, Brechun connected for an RBI single through the left side to break a scoreless tie.
The Berg extended its lead to 4-0 with two runs in the fourth and another in the fifth. In the fourth, Ricardo Lizcano (Toledo, Ohio / Roy C. Start) knocked in Alex Monroe(Chagrin Falls, Ohio / Kenston), who led the inning off with a single. Andrew Buelow(Marysville, Mich. / Marysville) made it two runs in the inning after scoring on a wild pitch.
Brechun and Lash led the fifth off with back-to-back doubles to plate the fourth ’Berg run of the game.
John Carroll and Heidelberg traded runs in the sixth to push the final score to 5-1. Lizcano put himself in scoring position with a lead off triple. Decker completed Lizcano’s trip around the base paths with an RBI single through the right side.
Holt threw a complete game, allowing just five hits and striking out a career-high eight batters. He allowed just one earned run and did not walk a batter. For the year Holt improved to 7-1.
Heidelberg finished with 12 hits in the game one victory. Decker, Brechun, Jason Lash(Strongsville, Ohio / Strongsville), Monroe and Derek Andrzejczak (Sylvania, Ohio / Sylvania Northview) each had two hits.
In game two Heidelberg wasted little time getting on the scoreboard. The Berg scored three runs apiece in four of the first five innings to take a 12-2 lead and never looked back.
Heidelberg’s first at bat would prove to hold the game-winning run in the end. In the first, Brechun had a two-run double to the left field corner to score Lizcano and Gar Keen(Sparta, Ohio / Highland). The eventual game-winning run was scored by Brechun, who came across home plate courtesy of a single to center field by Monroe.
The final Berg run came in the eighth inning when Steve Decker (Maumee, Ohio / Springfield) scored on a wild pitch.
Getting the start for the Berg was Brian Koehl (Sylvania, Ohio / Sylvania Northview). Koehl threw 7.0 innings and gave up nine hits, while striking out nine to improve to 6-0 on the year.
For the game, Heidelberg’s hitter registered 21 hits. Andrzejczak went 4-for-5 with three runs batted in, while Lash was 4-for-6 with three runs scored and an RBI. Keen and Monroe each had three hits apiece, while Lizcano and Brechun had two each. Brechun shared team honors with Andrzejczak with three RBI.