FORT MYERS, FL - Heidelberg University baseball stayed perfect on their annual Florida trip, defeating Dominican University 9-3. The game against the Stars was the first of two for the Student Princes on Tuesday.
Heidelberg pitchers Ryan Minteer (Venetia, PA/Peters Township) and Ben Sniezek (Dearborn Heights, MI/Crestwood) combined for 16 strikeouts and rightfielder Arneal Squibb (Mishawaka, IN) was a perfect 4-for-4 at the plate in the win.
Minteer was dominant at the start. Through the first three innings, Minteer faced the minimum while striking out seven.
Heidelberg (3-0) got on the board in the third. Ben Blystone (Brownsburg, IN) was hit by a pitch to lead off. Squibb followed with a single to right. The Dominican rightfielder mishandled the ball, which allowed Blystone and Squibb to advance a base. Andrew Zenczak (Brunswick) lifted a ball into centerfield, which allowed Blystone to score. Two batters later, T.J. Harkness (Fremont/Ross) singled to score Squibb to extend the Heidelberg lead to 2-0. After a single from Eric Monroe (Chagrin Falls/Kenston), Alex Grove (Canal Fulton/Canton Central Catholic) battled back from an 0-2 count to double down the left field line, which scored Harkness. Dominican starter Josh Venhuizen limited the damage to three runs by getting Steve Morse (Scottsdale, AZ/Orchard Lake St. Mary’s) to fly out.
Minteer worked out of a jam in the fourth without allowing a run. A walk to Joe Krasny and a single by Adam Quinn put Stars on the corners with no outs. Cody Schuster reached on a fielder’s choice. On the play, Quinn was forced out at second and Krasny was tagged out at home. Schuster was caught stealing to end the inning.
In the fifth, Minteer wasn’t as lucky. Two errors by the infield put runners on the corners with no outs. Quinlan Milne Rojek hit a comebacker to the mound, but Minteer’s throw to second was errant, which brought home the first Domincan run. After a strike out, a walk loaded the bases for Dominican (2-2). A 5-4-3 double play ended the Star rally.
Leading 3-1 in the bottom of the fifth, Heidelberg loaded the bases in painful fashion. Joe Staab (Bellville/Clear Fork), Harkness and Monroe were all hit by pitches from Domincan starter Josh Venhuizen. A balk forced in Staab and pushed Harkness and Monroe up a base. Following a strikeout, Miller tripled down the right field line to score two. Heidelberg led, 6-1.
In the top of the sixth, Minteer allowed a one-out triple to Quinn, who would score on an RBI groundout from Schuster.
Brian Costello relieved Venhuizen (0-1) in the sixth. Squibb led off with a double and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt. After Staab drew a walk, Harkness hit a two-run double down the left field line. Harkness tried to score on a single by Grove, but was thrown out at home
With an 8-2 lead, Heidelberg brought in Sniezek to relieve Minteer. In his collegiate debut, he struck out the first hitter he faced. After another infield error allowed a Star to reach base, Sniezek got a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning.
Heidelberg moved their lead to 9-2 with an RBI single by Squibb. His fourth hit of the game scored Morse, who reached on a hit by pitch.
Minteer (1-0) threw six innings to pick up the win. He allowed three hits and struck out nine.
Sniezek, who struck out the side in the eighth, threw three innings and gave up a run in the ninth. He picked up the save and struck out seven.
Heidelberg will look to stay perfect as they face Alvernia at 1 p.m. on Tuesday.