***Doubleheader postponed until Sunday 1 p.m.
TIFFIN, Ohio—The Heidelberg University baseball team will play its second consecutive weekend doubleheader on the road Saturday when it faces the University of Mount Union in an Ohio Athletic Conference twinbill at 23rd Street Field in Alliance, Ohio. The first game is slated for 1 p.m. The twinbill will wrap-up a key week in OAC action for the Berg, as it will play its second of the league’s four doubleheaders among the top six teams in the standings this week.
Live stats for both games will be available here.
Heidelberg (17-14, 6-6 OAC) currently sits in sixth place in the league standings following a doubleheader split Tuesday with B-W. Against the Yellow Jackets, senior center fielder Elvin Williams (Euclid) laced a walk-off double that capped a three-run inning in the bottom of the eighth as Heidelberg claimed a 9-8 extra-inning win in game one, and the Student Princes scored four unanswered runs to tie the game in the sixth, but B-W scored in the top of the seventh to escape with a 6-5 win. Senior shortstop Ricardo Lizcano (Toledo/Start) hit his 16th career triple, tying Jeremy Wentworth’s (2006-09) school record, and freshman designated hitter Alex Grove (Canal Fulton/Canton Central Catholic) hit his first two career home runs, with one coming in each game.
The Berg boasts three hitters who are pacing above .350, led by senior left fielder Ross Pruitt (Elletsville, Ind./Edgewood) (.384, 27 RBI, 0 HR, 26 R), who is eighth in the OAC in hitting, fifth in hits (43), and tied for sixth in RBI, and leads the team with 15 multi-hit games. Freshman designated hitter Trevor Oldham (Akron/Archbishop Hoban) (.359, 10, 0, 19) is third in the league in on-base percentage (.488). Freshman first baseman Eric Monroe (Chagrin Falls/Kenston) (.354, 21, 2, 13) is also tearing at a productive pace. Lizcano (.339, 36, 6, 25) leads the OAC in slugging percentage (.670), is tied for the league lead in homers, is second in RBI and walks (18), and ninth in OBP (.449).
In addition to his record-tying 16th triple, Lizcano, who broke the school career record with his 32nd home run earlier this season, is close to several other school records. He needs three walks to break Wentworth’s mark of 100 and 11 total bases to break Jason Lash’s (2008-11) record of 419. Lizcano is also a career .397 hitter, just 17 points shy of Frank Balogh’s (1998-2002) .414 clip, and is currently slugging 26 points higher (.693) than Aaron Fischer’s (1996-2000) career record of .667.
On the mound, junior right hander Tyler Fruhwirth (Beavercreek) and sophomore righty Chris Thomas (Canton/Perry) have started each of the last five weekend doubleheaders for the Berg. Fruhwirth (4.34 ERA, 29 K, 47.2 IP) is 4-3 in nine appearances (seven starts) with two complete games (one shutout). He is sixth in the OAC in innings pitched and tied for ninth in wins. Thomas (6.69, 22, 40.1) is 2-4 in nine appearances (seven starts). Freshman right hander Ryan Minteer (Venetia, Pa./Peters Township) (3.23, 23, 39.0) has split time between the starting rotation and the bullpen, is 2-1 in eight appearances (five starts), and has hurled one shutout.
Senior righty Daniel Brannum (Jamestown/Greeneview) and junior righty Teddy Lowe (Fort Wayne, Ind./Carroll) anchor the bullpen with a combined 34 appearances. Brannum (4.08, 32, 35.1) is 5-0 with one save in 17 appearances, is tied for seventh in the conference in wins and is eighth in strikeouts. Lowe (6.26, 13, 23.0) is 3-2 in 17 outings.
Mount Union (23-9, 9-3 OAC) is coming off a 10-4 non-conference loss Wednesday to Penn State – Behrend, a loss that snapped a seven-game winning streak. The Purple Raiders have won seven straight OAC games and have swept their last three league doubleheaders.
Connor Mathis (.473, 41, 1, 25) paces the Raider offense and leads the OAC in hitting, RBI, and hits (52), is second in slugging (.618) and fourth in OBP (.478). Ricky Olasz (.355, 13, 0, 27) and Lee Grosscup (.351, 21, 1, 30) each rank inside the league’s top-10 in runs scored. Mathis and Grosscup are tied for the team lead with 11 extra-base hits and have combined for 21 stolen bases.
The Raider starting rotation is keyed by Matt Murzynski and Beau Smith, both of whom have made eight starts in nine appearances. Murzynski (2.70, 25, 50.0) is 7-1 with one complete game, is tied for the league lead in wins, is fourth in innings pitched and ninth in ERA. Smith is 4-3, has gone the distance in three outings, and is tied for ninth in the OAC in wins.
Mike Horning, Cory Douglass and Josh Pryor see most of the action out of the bullpen, with 12, 11 and 10 appearances, respectively. Horning (3.74, 19, 33.2) is 3-1 with one save, Douglass (3.00, 12, 15.0) is 2-0 with two saves, and Pryor (5.52, 27, 29.1) is 1-1 with a pair of saves.
Following Saturday’s doubleheader, the Student Princes will return to Tiffin for a four-game homestand, with a pair of midweek games against The College of Wooster next Tuesday and Wittenberg University on Wednesday before hosting John Carroll University in a league doubleheader on Saturday, April 28.