Columbus, Ohio - May 5, 2010 - An Ohio Athletic Conference doubleheader sweep of Capital University, today, May 5, secured at least a share of the 2010 regular season baseball championship for nationally ranked Heidelberg University. The Berg opened up with a 13-2 victory in game one, before producing a 14-9 win in the night cap.
Heidelberg will look to win the title outright when it travels to Mount Union College on Friday for its OAC season finale. It is the fourth straight year, fifth time overall, that at least a share of the league regular season trophy has found a home on the Heidelberg campus in Tiffin (2003, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010).
For the year, Heidelberg, under the guidance of 11th-year head coach Matt Palm, boasts an overall record of 32-6 and is 13-3 in the OAC. The Crusaders fall to 9-24 overall and 2-12 against league foes.
In the opener, the Berg got on the scoreboard in its first at bat. With two outs, Willie Brechun (Canton, Ohio / Canton Central Catholic) connected for an RBI single up the middle to score Gar Keen (Sparta, Ohio / Highland) from second. Keen reached the base paths via a walk.
Heidelberg extended its lead to 4-0 in the third inning. OAC Scholar-Athlete of the Month Steve Decker (Maumee, Ohio / Springfield) led things off being hit by a pitch and was followed by three consecutives hits. Keen knocked in Decker on a triple to right center field and crossed home plate himself on the next batter. Brechun brought Keen home with a single to center field. Two batters later, Heidelberg's third run of the inning came off an at bat by Alex Monroe (Chagrin Falls, Ohio / Kenston).
The Crusaders erased a shutout with a solo home run to lead off the bottom of the third.
Quality at bats continued into the fourth for the Berg. Elvin Williams (Euclid, Ohio / Euclid) opened things up with a solo home run down the right field line. Heidelberg pushed its lead to 6-1 with an RBI single by Keen to score Ricardo Lizcano (Toledo, Ohio / Roy C. Start). In the bottom of the inning Capital plated a run off an RBI single by Michael Trainer.
Six of Heidelberg's nine batters in the fifth inning registered hits to lead to a four-run inning and a 10-2 lead. Recording RBI singles was Lizcano, Keen and Brechun. Keen recorded the final run on a wild pitch.
Heidelberg made it four consecutive innings of mulitple run innings in the sixth with three. With two outs, Keen drew a bases loaded walk for one run prior to Brechun hitting a two-run single through the left side.
On the mound, the current OAC Pitcher of the Week Ethan Holt (Galion, Ohio / West Holmes) got the start and went 5.0 innings. He gave up six hits, while striking out six to pick up his staff leading eighth win of th year. Throwing an inning apiece to assit with Holt's win was Daniel Brannum (Jamestown, Ohio / Greeneview) and Lizcano. Branuum and Lizcano each gave up a hit apiece and struck out one each.
At the plate, the Heidelberg hitters combined for 16 hits. Leading the way going 3-for-3 with four runs batted in and three runs scored, along with two walks was Keen. Brechun went 4-for-5 with five RBI and a run scored. Also finishing with multiple hits was Derek Andrzejczak (Sylvania, Ohio / Sylvania Northview) and Lizcano.
In the night cap, Decker took his first pitch of the game over the left center fence to give Heidelberg a 1-0 lead after one inning. Capital went on to even the game in the bottom of the second and took its first lead of the day off a two-run home run by Patrick Jackson in the same inning.
Heidelberg's hitters made sure that Capital's lead was short lived with seven runs, off of four hits and three Crusader miscues in the next inning. Travis McClarney (Mt. Vernon, Ind. / Reitz) got the scoring going with a RBI double to deep center field, knocking in Andrew Buelow (Marysville, Mich. / Marysville) who led the inning of being hit by a pitch. Lizcano, Decker and Keen followed McClarney's run production lead with consecutive RBI. Two batters later, Jason Lash (Strongsville, Ohio / Strongsville)knocked in another run. The Berg went on to bat around in the inning and Buelow had a high fly ball to center field that was dropped, sending two more runs across and giving Heidelberg an 8-3 lead.
Capital got another run in the bottom of the fifth before Lizcano connected for a solo home run to center field to move the score in favor of the Berg 9-5, after the top of the sixth. A Heidelberg miscue in the bottom of the sixth plated a run for Capital. The Crusaders made it two in the inning off an RBI ground out by Ian Smith.
Heidelberg continued to add to its run total with three more in the seventh. Buelow scored off an error by left field followed by RBI singles by Lizcano and Brechun. Scoring on the hits was McClarney and Lizcano. After keeping Capital at bay, the Berg held a 12-6 lead with two innings to play.
Lizcano closed out the scoring for Heidelberg with a two-run home run to left center field in the top of the ninth, while the Crusaders had a three-run home run in its final at bat to push the final score to 14-9.
Extending his unbeaten reacord to seven games on the mound was Brian Koehl(Sylvania, Ohio / Sylvania Northview). Koehl went 6.0 innings and gave up 10 hits, six runs, four earned, and struck out one. Closing out the final two innings was Brandon Stucky (Medina, Ohio / Medina) and Sylvester Nino (Williard, Ohio / Williard).
For the game, Heidelberg registered 16 hits. Brechun went 5-for-6 with an RBI and a run scored. Lizcano was not far behind at 4-for-6 with five RBI and three runs scored. McClarney finished at 2-for-3 with two runs batted in and three runs scored.