TIFFIN, Ohio—Freshman catcher Alex Grove (Canal Fulton/Canton Central Catholic) drilled a one-out triple to right field to score freshman first baseman Eric Monroe (Chagrin Falls/Kenston) as the Heidelberg University baseball team beat No. 16 (D3baseball.com) Adrian (Mich.) College, 13-12, today in a non-conference game at Peaceful Valley in Tiffin, Ohio. The win was the Berg’s sixth in the last nine games and second walk-off victory of the season.
Monroe went 2-for-4 at the plate, scored twice and hit his first career grand slam. Senior shortstop Ricardo Lizcano (Toledo/Start) went 2-for-3 with three runs batted-in and two runs scored and hit his 29th career home run.
The teams combined for 25 runs, 26 hits and 13 base-on-balls and utilized 10 pitchers.
After scoring 23 of the game’s 25 runs in the first five innings, both teams failed to score again until the ninth.
With Heidelberg clinging to a 12-11 lead in the top of the ninth, Adrian’s Ryan Sigler sent a run batted-in single to left field, sending home the tying run.
Monroe singled in the bottom of the ninth, sending Grove to the plate for his late-game heroics.
Adrian (8-4) utilized two hits, a pair of walks and a hit batsman in the top of the first inning to jump out to a 4-0 lead.
The Student Princes (11-8) began to chip into the Adrian lead in the bottom half of the first when sophomore right fielder Arneal Squibb (Mishakawa, Ind./Mishakawa) tripled in senior left fielder Ross Pruitt (Elletsville, Ind./Edgewood), who singled.
The Bulldogs tacked on another run in the second and scored two runs with two outs in the third for a 7-1 lead.
The first nine batters in the ‘Berg third scored as the Student Princes took a 10-7 lead. A run-batted single by Pruitt and a three-run homer by Lizcano—his third of the season—got the inning off to a good start. Squibb followed suit with a single, chasing starting pitcher Holden Branch from the mound. Two more singles and a walk loaded the bases for Monroe, whose grand slam—his second long ball of the season—took Mike Osterman out of the game. Josh Burd, the third Bulldog pitcher of the frame, retired the next three batters to get out of the inning.
Adrian scored twice more in the fourth, but a two-run double by freshman designated hitter Trevor Oldham (Akron/Archbishop Hoban) in the bottom of the inning extended the Berg’s lead to 12-9.
The Bulldogs scored twice more in the fifth on a RBI triple by Mitch Stefanski and a sacrifice fly by R.J. Rios.
Senior right hander Daniel Brannum (Jamestown/Greeneview) came on for the eighth and ninth innings and allowed the tying run, but recorded the win to improve to 3-0.
In addition to Monroe and Lizcano, freshman third baseman Steve Kisan (Lakewood/St. Edward) led the ‘Berg attack with a 3-for-5 day, including a double, two runs and a stolen base. Three other Student Princes had multi-hit days. Pruitt went 2-for-5 with a RBI and two runs scored, Squibb was 2-for-4 with a RBI and run, and senior center fielder Elvin Williams (Euclid) was 2-for-3 with a RBI and a run. Both Williams and Oldham extended their hitting streaks to nine consecutive games.
In his first start since returning from an injury, senior right handed pitcher Sly Nino (Willard) worked 2.2 innings, allowing seven runs on four hits and walking seven batters. Junior righty Teddy Lowe (Fort Wayne, Ind./Carroll) relieved Nino, working 1.1 innings and allowing two runs on one hit. Freshman right hander Travis Gray (Markle, Ind./Norwell) pitched 3.0 innings of relief, giving up two runs on three hits in his third appearance of the season. Brannum (Jamestown/Greeneview) retired six of the nine batters he faced while allowing one run.
The Bulldogs were led at the plate by Clay Paul, who was 3-for-4 with two RBI and two runs. Stefanski was 2-for-5 with two RBI and two runs and Zach Kolvey was 2-for-4 with a RBI and a run.
On the mound for the Bulldogs, Branch worked into the third inning, allowing six runs on five hits. Osterman gave up four runs on three hits in the third without recording an out. Burd gave up two runs on three hits in 1.1 innings. Lucas Willitzer worked 3.2 innings, allowing just one hit. Craig Steadman pitched 1.1 innings, allowed one run on three hits and suffered the loss.
Lizcano now needs three home runs to break the school career record.
The Berg opens Ohio Athletic Conference play Saturday by hosting Wilmington College in a doubleheader at 1 p.m.