MARIETTA, Ohio—No. 1 seed Marietta College defeated the No. 3 seed Heidelberg University baseball team, 15-1, today in the third game of the 2012 Ohio Athletic Conference Baseball Tournament at Don Schaly Stadium in Marietta, Ohio. The Student Princes will face the winner between No. 2 seed the University of Mount Union and No. 4 seed John Carroll University, which face off this afternoon. That game is slated for 5 p.m. The win puts the Pioneers in the championship game for the fifth consecutive season.
Marietta (36-6, 16-2 OAC) loaded the bases with two outs in the top of the second inning off starting right-hander Ryan Minteer (Venetia, Pa./Peters Township), but a leaping catch in the left field gap by senior left fielder Ross Pruitt (Elletsville, Ind./Edgewood) on a liner by Jordan Grilliot saved at least two runs.
The Pioneers took a 1-0 lead in the third when Tim Saunders scored on a sacrifice fly to right field by Evan Brockmeier.
A two-out single by senior right fielder Ricardo Lizcano (Toledo/Start) in the third inning scored sophomore designated hitter Joe Chiarappa (Clinton/St. Vincent-St. Mary’s) from second base as Heidelberg (26-16, 11-7 OAC) knotted the score, 1-1.
Saunders scored again in the fifth on a double by Aaron Hopper before junior right-hander Teddy Lowe (Fort Wayne, Ind./Carroll) relieved Minteer. A sacrifice bunt by Brockmeier moved Hopper to third and back-to-back walks by Bryan Gregorich and Niko Stanislav loaded the bases for Alex Toth, but Lowe coaxed a pop out to freshman first baseman Eric Monroe (Chagrin Falls/Kenston) to work out of the jam in his lone inning of relief.
A RBI triple by Saunders and run-scoring double by Hopper keyed a three-run rally in the sixth, and Marietta sent nine batters to the plate and tallied five more runs in the seventh as it extended its lead to 10-1.
The Pioneers added five insurance runs in the eighth.
Lizcano, Monroe and sophomore second baseman Joe Staab (Bellville/Clearfork) each went 2-for-3, with Staab rapping out a double.
Minteer worked 4.0-plus innings and allowed two runs on four hits while striking out two and walking five, but was tagged with the loss to fall to 4-3. Five relievers combined to work the final 5.0 frames.
Saunders was 5-for-5 with six RBI and five runs scored and was a double off the cycle. Hopper was 3-for-5 with two RBI and one run and Brockmeier was 2-for-3 with two RBI and three runs.
Brian Gasser surrendered one ‘Berg one on seven hits in 6.0 innings while fanning five and earned the win to improve to 9-2. Logan Lewis, Brockmeier and Kyle Lindquist pitch an inning of relief apiece.
The Berg returns to Don Schaly Stadium to face either JCU or Mount Union at approximately 6 p.m.