TIFFIN, Ohio—Senior center fielder Elvin Williams (Euclid) laced a two-out, walk-off double to left-center field to lift the Heidelberg University baseball team to a 9-8 win in eight innings in the first game of an Ohio Athletic Conference doubleheader today against Baldwin-Wallace College, but the Yellow Jackets came back to win the nightcap, 6-5, at Peaceful Valley in Tiffin, Ohio.
Freshman designated hitter Alex Grove (Canal Fulton/Canton Central Catholic) hit his first two career home runs and senior shortstop Ricardo Lizcano (Toledo/Start) tied Jeremy Wentworth’s (2006-09) school career record with his 16th triple.
Heidelberg (17-14, 6-6 OAC) trailed, 8-6, entering the bottom of the eighth inning, but six Student Princes reached base and Williams' double scored sophomore Andrew Zenczak (Brunswick), who was pinch running, and freshman third baseman Steve Kisan (Lakewood/St. Edward) to win the game in walk-off fashion.
Senior right hander Sly Nino (Willard) surrendered a two-run lead to B-W (24-7, 8-4 OAC) in the top of the eighth on a pair of unearned runs, but finished an inning of relief and earned his first win of the season, improving to 1-0.
The Yellow Jackets strung together three consecutive hits in the top of the first inning and jumped out to a 2-0 lead.
The Berg cut the deficit in half in the bottom half of the opening frame on a run batted-in single by freshman first baseman Eric Monroe (Chagrin Falls/Kenston) and took a 3-2 lead in the second on a solo home run by Grove and a RBI triple by senior left fielder Ross Pruitt (Elletsville, Ind./Edgewood), chasing B-W starting pitcher Pat Havens from the mound after just 1.2 innings.
The Yellow Jackets threatened in the forth as Zach Ferster belted a one-out triple, but freshman right hander Ryan Minteer (Venetia, Pa./Peters Township) fanned two straight batters to work out of the inning
Lizcano’s record-tying triple, a sacrifice fly by Monroe, and a RBI single by Grove upped the Berg’s lead to 6-2.
B-W threatened again in the sixth after a hit batsman, a walk and an error loaded the bases with none out, but Minteer picked up another strikeout and coaxed a double play to work out of the jam.
The Yellow Jackets sent 10 batters to the plate in the seventh and Kyle Chontos hit a two-run homer to spark a four-run inning that tied the game, 6-6. Minteer battled through seven hitters in the inning before ceding way to senior righty Daniel Brannum (Jamestown/Greenview). A bases loaded walk by Alex Green scored Ferster, tying the game.
Heidelberg went down in order in the bottom of the seventh to force extra innings.
In the B-W eighth, a passed ball set up a sacrifice fly by Joe Hiller and a RBI single by Ferster that gave the Yellow Jackets an 8-6 advantage.
Grove was 3-for-4 at the plate with two RBI and a run scored and Pruitt went 2-for-4 with a triple, one RBI and two runs. Williams’ only hit of the first game came on his walk-off double.
Minteer was one out away from hurling his second complete game in as many starts. He allowed six runs (four earned) on 11 hits while striking out six and walking three in 6.2 innings. Brannum struck out one and walked a pair while recording the final out of the seventh.
Chontos went 3-for-4 for B-W in game one with three RBI and three runs, while Ferster was 3-for-3 with one RBI and a run scored.
Havens allowed three runs (one earned) on three hits and struck out three. Anthony Alioto worked 2.0 innings of relief, allowing three runs on three hits while walking four. Cory Waite struck out two and gave up just one hit in 2.1 innings and Jon Tenley allowed three ‘Berg runs in the eighth on just two hits and was tagged with the loss to fall to 0-1.
In the second game, B-W utilized a walk, two hit batsmen and a pair of singles to rally for four runs in the top of the first.
Williams tripled in the second and later scored on a failed pick-off attempt to first base to get the Student Princes on the board.
Anthony Longhitano extended B-W’s lead to 5-1 in the fourth when he scored on a wild pitch, but another Grove homer and a RBI single by Pruitt cut the deficit to two.
Sophomore right fielder Ben Blystone (Brownsburg, Ind./Brownsburg) tied the game, 5-5, in the sixth with a two-run single.
Brendan Toughy broke the tie in the seventh with what would prove to be the game-winning RBI double.
Williams was 2-for-3 with two runs in the second game and Blystone had a pair of RBI.
Brannum started the second game and gave up four runs on two hits in one-third of an inning. Sophomore righty Chris Thomas (Canton/Perry) allowed one run on three hits while striking out three and walking four in 3.2 innings of relief. Freshman right hander Travis Gray (Markle, Ind./Norwell) gave up one run on three hits in 2.2 innings, but suffered the loss to fall to 0-1. Junior righty Tyler Fruhwirth (Beavercreek) pitched one-third of an innings.
Toughey finished game two 2-for-4 with a run scored. Chontos was 2-for-3 with a RBI and a run and Green was 2-for-4 with a double and a run scored.
Josh Scott pitched 6.0 innings, allowing all five runs (four earned) on seven hits and earned the win to improve to 7-0. Tenley retired the side in the seventh and earned his sixth save.
Heidelberg will wrap up a pivotal week of OAC play Saturday with a doubleheader against league foe the University of Mount Union.