FORT MYERS, FL - A pair of three-run innings and a masterful pitching performance by Ethan Holt lifted Heidelberg University baseball to their fourth straight victory to open the season. The Student Princes defeated Alvernia 6-3 on Tuesday.
Holt (Galion/West Holmes), who missed the 2012 season recovering from an injury, threw a complete game and scattered six hits and struck out 10.
Heidelberg scored three runs in the third inning to take the lead. Andrew Zenczak (Brunswick) drew a one-out walk and moved to third on a single by Joe Staab (Bellville/Clear Fork). A sacrifice fly from T.J. Harkness (Fremont/Ross) scored Zenczak. In what is quickly becoming a trend, the next two batters - Eric Monroe (Chagrin Falls/Kenston) and Joe Chiarappa (Clinton/St. Vincent - St. Mary) - were hit by pitches to load the bases. Alex Grove (Canal Fulton/Canton Central Catholic) singled home Staab and Monroe.
Through four games, Heidelberg batters have been hit by 15 pitches.
Alvernia (3-3) cut into the Heidelberg lead in the fifth. Leon Stimpson singled home a pair of Crusaders to put the score at 3-2.
Undeterred, Heidelberg answered with three in the bottom of the fifth. Harkness doubled and scored when Monroe hit a ball to center that was mishandled. Chiarappa singled, followed by an RBI single from Grove. Three batters later, Arneal Squibb (Mishawaka, IN) singled home Chiarappa, but Grove was thrown out at the plate.
The Crusaders struggled to solve Holt. In the eighth, Alvernia used two hits and an error to score an unearned run, which made the score 6-3.
Holt (1-0) used four 1-2-3 innings, including the ninth, to keep his pitch count low.
"His first time out in two years, to throw a complete game...Ethan really wanted the ball," said 14-year head coach Matt Palm. "Alvernia is a really good team and Ethan did an excellent job keeping them off-balance."
Grove finished 3-for-4 with a pair of RBI.
Squibb leads the team in batting, hitting .625 through the first four contests. Overall, the Student Princes are batting .346 as a team.
Palm and company will head back to Ft. Myers on Wednesday for a 10 a.m. matchup with Widener.