A six-run fifth inning paced Heidelberg University baseball to a season-opening win against Moravian College in Port Charlotte, Florida. The Student Princes won 9-7.
Heidelberg pounded out 16 hits, with five players recording multi-hit afternoons.
To open the season, Joe Staab (Bellville/Clear Fork) singled to left, but was thrown out trying to steal second. After Eric Monroe (Chagrin Falls/Kenston) was hit by a pitch, Alex Grove (Canal Fulton/Canton Central Catholic) flied out to end the inning.
In the bottom of the first, senior Tyler Fruhwirth (Beavercreek) allowed the first two Greyhounds to reach on a walk and a single. After getting Ryan Luke to strikeout, an RBI pop out from Matt Hanson pushed across the first Moravian run. A groundout to shortstop Andrew Zenczak (Brunswick) ended the inning.
In the top of the second, Doug Miller (West Friendship, MD/Glenelg Country School) and Ben Blystone (Brownsburg, IN) led off with consecutive singles. Blystone was erased on a fielder’s choice by Arneal Squibb (Mishawaka, IN). After Squibb moved to second on a bunt by Zenczak, Jordan Martin (Powell/Olentangy Liberty) was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Moravian starter Thomas Mariano got Staab on strikes to end the threat.
Moravian struck again in the bottom of the second. An RBI double by Mike Roethke chased home Alex Bull.
Trailing 2-0, the Student Princes got their leadoff hitter aboard for the third straight inning when T.J. Harkness (Fremont/Ross) led off the third with a single. Monroe followed with a single up the middle. Grove singled to left-center, which scored Harkness from third. Heidelberg tied the game on a double play off the bat of Miller, scoring Monroe.
Moravian (1-3) took the lead back in the home half of the third. Luke reached on an error, stole second and scored on a basehit by Joseph Connell. Connell stole second and third, but was stranded.
In the fifth, Heidelberg (1-0) took the lead and chased Mariano from the game. Monroe singled to lead off the inning. After a flyout and a strikeout, Blystone singled to put runners on the corners. Squibb doubled, which scored Monroe. Greyhound reliever Matthew Cordes hit Zenczak to load the bases. Heidelberg took the lead when Cordes hit Martin, scoring Blystone.
Staab hit a two-run double, followed by a two-run single from Harkness. Monroe, tenth man to bat in the inning, flied out to center to end the rally.
Mariano finished with four strikeouts in 4.2 innings in the losing effort.
With an 8-3 lead, Fruhwirth gave up consecutive extra-base hits in the fifth before exiting the game. A double from Matt Hanson was followed by a triple from Connell. Teddy Lowe (Fort Wayne, IN/Carroll) relieved Fruhwirth, who struck out four in his four-plus innings of work.
Lowe got Bull to groundout on a comebacker to the mound before yielding an RBI groundout to second, which trimmed the Heidelberg lead to 8-5.
In the sixth, Heidelberg scored again. Grove reached on an error to start the inning and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Miller. With two outs, Squibb singled to score Grove.
Undeterred, Moravian scored twice in the bottom of the sixth, cutting the Heidelberg lead to 9-7. Case reached on a fielder’s choice and moved to third on a groundout. He would score on a bunt single by Luke. Hanson doubled to center, which scored Luke. After a Connell walk, Bull flied out to Harkness to end the inning.
Freshman Kyle Fluharty (Plymouth/Willard) relieved Lowe in the seventh and worked three scoreless innings to pick up the save.
Lowe, who picked up the win, threw two innings and allowed two runs.
"I thought Kyle pitched exceptionally well down the stretch," said 14-year head coach Matt Palm. "Moravian is a quality team and we knew it would be a battle."
The top third of Palm’s lineup combined for eight hits, four runs and four RBI. Staab and Monroe collected three hits, while Harkness had two hits in his collegiate debut. Blystone had three hits while Squibb added two hits and two RBI.
"Mariano is their number one guy and he pitched well against us last season," said Palm. "To pound out 11 hits off a guy like that, right out of the gate was great to see."
Heidelberg returns to action on Monday, taking on Thiel at 1 p.m.