Tiffin, Ohio – April 17, 2011 – In a battle between nationally ranked foes on the baseball diamond, Heidelberg University and Marietta College split a doubleheader at Peaceful Valley, the home of ’Berg baseball. The visiting Pioneers opened the day with a 12-0 victory, but the Berg battled back for an 8-6 win in game two. Overall the split puts the Berg at 24-6 and Marietta stands at 24-3.
Not only was today’s doubleheader a battle between two of the top-five teams in the nation, but it was an outing between the top-two teams in the Ohio Athletic Conference. No. 5 ranked Heidelberg handed league-leader, and no. 2 ranked, Marietta its first OAC loss on the year and remains a game behind them in the conference standings. Just past the midway point of the OAC regular season, Marietta stands atop the league at 9-1, while Heidelberg is 8-2. The winner of the 10-team OAC earns the right to host the OAC Tournament May 12-14, with the winner advancing to the NCAA Regionals. Heidelberg is the four-time defending champion.
After being limited to just two hits in the opener as a team, Gar Keen (Sparta, Ohio / Highland) stepped up to the plate to total four of Heidelberg’s 11 hits in the game two win. Keen wasted little time settling in, registering a RBI single in the first inning to score the first of three Heidelberg runs in the inning. Jason Lash (Strongsville, Ohio / Strongsville) followed and knocked Keen in with a single up the middle. The scoring concluded in the inning with a Derek Andrzejczak (Sylvania, Ohio / Sylvania Northview) RBI ground out to second base. Of its three runs, two were unearned, as Keen knocked in Alex Monroe (Chagrin Falls, Ohio / Kenston), who reached following a fielding error at third, and Andrzejczak’s groundout should of ended the inning.
Heidelberg doubled its lead in the second. With two outs, Monroe was hit by a pitch and came around to score off a Keen triple. Willie Brechun (Canton, Ohio / Canton Central Catholic) followed with a home run to right field to make it three runs in the inning.
Marietta went on to pull within two runs, 6-4, with two runs each in the third and fourth. Heidelberg got back one of its runs off a RBI ground out by Monroe in the fourth.
Heidelberg closed out its scoring in the sixth and Marietta threatened in its last at bat with two runs, but could not get any closer.
Brian Koehl (Sylvania, Ohio / Sylvania Northview) got the start and went 4.0 innings. In the no-decision, Koehl gave up six hits and four earned runs, while striking out five. Andy Lowe (Fort Wayne, Ind. / Carroll) came in relief in the fifth and threw a five-hitter to improve to 2-1 on the year. Lowe struck out a career-high eight batters and allowed just two earned runs.
Backing Keen’s four hits was Monroe and Lash with two apiece. Keen, Monroe and Brechun each knocked in two runs and scored twice.
In the opener, after two scoreless innings on both sides, Marietta opened the scoring with a three-run third. The Pioneers extended its advantage to nine, with six runs off of five hits in the sixth. The scoring concluded in the sixth with three more Pioneer runs.
Recording the only Heidelberg hits in the game was Ricardo Lizcano (Toledo, Ohio / Roy C. Start) and Monroe.
Suffering the loss on the mound for the Berg was Ethan Holt (Galion, Ohio / West Holmes). In 5.2 innings, Holt gave up 11 hits and 11 earned runs. It was the first loss on the year for Holt (5-1).