Tiffin, Ohio - May 15, 2010 - Junior Brian Koehl (Sylvania, Ohio / Sylvania Northview) threw his first collegiate shutout to help lead the nationally rankedHeidelberg University baseball team to a sweep of the Ohio Athletic Conference baseball titles in 2010.
Koehl threw a five-hit shut out and struck out five in a 9-0 victory over no. 2 seeded, and 17th ranked, Marietta College in the championship game of the 2010 OAC Baseball Tournament hosted by Heidelberg at Peaceful Valley. It was the third straight year that the Berg and Marietta met in the finals. Overall, Heidelberg has claimed fourth tournament titles (2004, 2008, 2009 and 2010).
Its tournament title earns Heidelberg the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Regionals that will begin on Wednesday, May 19. Heidelberg will learn its opponent on Monday when the NCAA announces the official field. Heidelberg will be making its fourth appearance in the NCAA Regionals (2004, 2008, 2009 and 2010).
The tournament championship marked the third consecutive sweep of OAC hardware for the Berg. Over the course of the last three seasons, both the OAC Regular Season and tournament trophies have found a home on the Heidelberg campus. In the history of the program, Heidelberg has won five regular season titles (2003, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010).
“Throughout the tournament we played well,” said Matt Palm, 11th-year Heidelberg head coach. “Our pitching staff stepped up, as well as our defense to lead us to the championship on our home field. Our line up is coming together from top to bottom and now is the time for us to continue to play our best baseball.”
For his efforts on the mound, Koehl was tabbed the Most Valuable Player. It is the second time in three years that a member of the Berg pitching staff has picked up the MVP award. Joining Koehl on the All-Tournament Team was fellow pitcher freshman Ethan Holt (Galion, Ohio / West Holmes), junior second baseman Gar Keen (Sparta, Ohio / Highland), junior third baseman Willie Brechun (Canton, Ohio / Canton Central Catholic), junior short stop Jason Lash(Strongsville, Ohio / Strongsville), junior left fielder Alex Monroe (Chagrin Falls, Ohio / Kenston) and sophomore right fielder Ricardo Lizcano (Toledo, Ohio / Roy C. Start).
For the year, the Berg stands at 37-6 overall, which ties for the second most wins in a single season. Heidelberg, ranked third in the nation, will be riding a 14-game winning streak heading into regionals. The setback dropped Marietta to 32-11 overall.
Heidelberg came out of the gates with a run in each of the first two innings. Brechun has a ground out run batted in and Elvin Williams (Euclid, Ohio / Euclid) had a RBI triple.
Its 2-0 lead would hold over three scoreless innings on both sides. Heidelberg came alive in the sixth to plate five runs off, of four hits, and a Marietta miscue. With one out, and one on, Derek Andrzejczak (Sylvania, Ohio / Sylvania Northview) got the scoring going with a RBI single up the middle to plate Monroe. Williams followed suit with a RBI single before Lizcano drew a walk to load the bases for a two RBI single to center field by Steve Decker (Maumee, Ohio / Springfield). Lizcano would eventually round the bases to score the fifth run of the inning off a fielding error by first base/
Heidelberg added a run each in the seventh and eighth innings for the eventual 9-0 win. In the seventh, Andrzejczak had a RBI double to center field, while Lizcano closed out the scoring with a lead off, first pitch, solo home run to right field in the eighth.
For the game, Heidelberg finished with 15 hits. Monroe went a perfect 3-for-3 with three runs scored and a walk. Keen also tallied three hits, while Lizcano, Decker, Williams and Andrzejczak had two apiece. Decker, Andrzejczak and Williams each had two RBI.
Heidelberg earned spot in the finals after posting a 29-5 opening day win over no. 4 seed Muskingum University and a come from behind 12-11 victory over Marietta yesterday. In its win over the Muskies, Heidelberg set OAC Tournament single game records for runs scored and hits (32).