TIFFIN, Ohio—Senior left fielder Ross Pruitt (Elletsville, Ind./Edgewood) drilled a game-tying double in the bottom of the eighth inning and freshman first baseman Eric Monroe (Chagrin Falls/Kenston) followed with the game-winning sacrifice fly to lift the Heidelberg University baseball team to a sweep of John Carroll University in a key Ohio Athletic Conference doubleheader today at Peaceful Valley in Tiffin, Ohio. The Berg won the first game, 7-1, and the nightcap, 10-9.
The Student Princes now sit in a tie for third place in the league standings with Baldwin-Wallace College, who was swept today by Marietta College.
JCU (17-17, 8-8 OAC) took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning when Tom Hickey blooped a two-out single into center field, scoring Dan Potter from third base, but Heidelberg (22-15, 9-7 OAC) took a 2-1 lead in the bottom half of the frame when Monroe drove in a run by reaching base on an error and senior center fielder Elvin Williams (Euclid) singled up the middle to score another.
The Student Princes extended their lead to 4-1 in the third when Pruitt scored on a Monroe groundout, followed by an infield single by Williams that scored senior right fielder Ricardo Lizcano (Toledo/Start).
A solo home run by sophomore second baseman Joe Staab (Bellville/Clearfork) to lead off the bottom of the fourth and a run batted-in double by Lizcano moved the Berg out to a 6-1 advantage. Lizcano’s double tied him with Jason Lash (2008-11) with a school-record 419 total bases.
In the fifth, a perfectly place bunt by sophomore shortstop Andrew Zenzcak (Brunswick)—meant to be a sacrifice—turned into a RBI single and upped the Heidelberg lead to what would prove to be the 7-1 final.
Williams was 2-for-2 at the plate in game one with two RBI and two runs scored. Sophomore designated hitter Ben Blystone (Brownsburg, Ind./Brownsburg) was 2-for-4 with two runs.
Freshman right-hander Ryan Minteer (Venetia, Pa./Peters Township) threw his second career complete game, scattering just four hits and allowing one run while striking out six and issuing just three walks, and improved to 3-2.
Jimmy Spagna started for the Blue Streaks and allowed seven runs (six earned) on seven hits in 4.0-plus innings, struck out six and walked four, and suffered the loss to fall to 3-5. Patrick Stump tossed an inning of relief and Brandon Lucas worked the sixth without allowing a base runner.
In the second game, a two-run single by Spagna, in a designated hitting role, got the Blue Streaks off to a 2-0 lead in the first inning. A RBI single by Dan Potter in the second extended JCU’s lead to 3-0.
Heidelberg got on the board in the bottom of the second with a RBI single by Staab.
In the third, JCU extended its lead to 5-1 on a Connor Marrero run-scoring single and a RBI groundout by Bobby Sabatino, but freshman catcher Alex Grove (Canal Fulton/Canton Central Catholic) lined a pinch-hit, bases-loaded single to key a three-run rally in the bottom of the fourth and the Student Princes cut the deficit to 5-4.
A two-run single by Staab in the sixth, gave the Berg a 6-5 lead, but the Blue Streaks came back to tie the game, 6-6, in the seventh on a solo home run by Spagna. JCU then rallied for two runs in the eighth to take an 8-6 lead on a two-run single by Hickey.
Undaunted, Heidelberg tied the game in the eighth on a two-run double by Pruitt, then took a 10-8 lead when Monroe lofted a sacrifice fly to left field and Williams reached on an error.
Senior righty Daniel Brannum (Jamestown/Greeneview) allowed a JCU run in the ninth, but hung on for his seventh victory of the season.
Staab was 3-for-3 with three RBI and two runs scored in game-two. Pruitt was 2-for-4 with three RBI and one run and Kisan was 2-for-4 four with two runs.
Junior right-hander Tyler Fruhwirth (Beavercreek) started and pitched 2.1 innings, allowing five runs (three earned) on seven hits. Junior righty Teddy Lowe (Fort Wayne, Ind./Carroll) recorded two outs in relief to work out of the third inning. Sophomore righty Chris Thomas (Canton/Perry) hurled 2.2 innings and struck out two. Brannum pitched 3.1 innings, allowing four runs (two earned) on six hits, and improved to 7-0.
Spagna was 2-for-4 with three RBI and two runs for the Blue Streaks. Aaron Miller was 3-for-4 with one run, Mitchell Herringshaw was 2-for-5 with two runs, and Ryan Konsler was 2-for-5 with a run.
Anthony Libertini lasted 4.1 innings on the mound and gave up five runs (three earned) on six hits. Tyler Ferretti pitched 2.2 innings of relief, allowing two runs on three hits. Kevin Rosinski tossed an inning, allowed three runs (one earned) on just one hit, and suffered the loss to fall to 1-1.
Heidelberg will face Defiance College on Tuesday in its final non-conference game and final road game of the regular season before hosting league foe Capital University on Saturday, May 5 on Senior Day.