TIFFIN – Heidelberg University baseball split an OAC doubleheader with Ohio Northern on Sunday, falling 4-3 in the first, but winning 5-3 in the second. The win snapped a five-game slide for Heidelberg.
Steve Morse (Scottsdale, AZ/Orchard Lake St. Mary’s) recorded five hits on the afternoon.
The Student Princes broke through in the third. Andrew Zenczak (Brunswick) led off with an infield single and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt from Jordan Martin (Powell/Olentangy Liberty). With two outs, Joe Chiarappa (Clinton/St. Vincent-St. Mary) ripped a single to center to score Zenczak.
In the top of the fourth, the Polar Bears plated a pair of runs to take the lead. Heidelberg starter Ryan Minteer (Venetia, PA/Peters Township) allowed a leadoff single to Nick Eltzroth. A wild pitch and a groundout pushed Eltzroth to third. Jack LaMarca singled to deep left field to tie the score. A fielder’s choice by Alex Crabtree scored Kevin Obarski from third to give ONU a 2-1 lead.
Heidelberg responded in the bottom of inning. Ben Blystone (Brownsburg, IN) hit a one-out single through the left side. He moved to third on an opposite-field double just inside the third base bag by Arneal Squibb (Mishawaka, IN). Zenczak hit a shot back to the mound that kicked off the heel of ONU starter Austin Price and bounced to the left side of the infield, which allowed Blystone to tie the game.
The Student Princes regained the lead in the fifth. Martin hit a double to left to start the inning and moved to third on a groundout. Eric Monroe (Chagrin Falls/Kenston) hit a two-out single to right to score Martin. Blystone flied out to the warning track in left to end the inning.
Minteer hit Obarski with a pitch to open the sixth. Obarski was lifted for pinch runner Derek Lenardos, who moved to second on a wild pitch. Lenardos came home on a single by Cory Martin. After another basehit, Teddy Lowe (Fort Wayne, IN/Carroll) relieved Minteer. Lowe induced an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play.
Minteer struck out three and allowed six hits in 5.1 innings.
In the seventh, Ohio Northern (13-12, 3-5 OAC) took the lead with an unearned run off of reliever Adam Manner (Bellevue). On a sinking line drive by Grant Wilson, Chiarappa dove, but the ball kicked off his glove which resulted in a double. Three batters later, Wilson scored on a single up the middle by Matt Magni.
Price retired Heidelberg in order to close out the game in the seventh. The lefty struck out four to pick up his third win of the year.
In the second game, the Student Princes roughed up ONU starter Zack Maier for two runs in the first. After Joe Staab (Bellville/Clear Fork) grounded out to start the game, the next five batters recorded hits. Monroe and Derek Hug (Bryan) each had two-out RBI singles.
A leadoff walk issued by Heidelberg starter Steve Huber (Pataskala/Watkins Memorial) came around to score in the second, cutting the ‘Berg’s lead to 2-1.
With two on and no outs in the third, Alex Grove (Canal Fulton/Canton Central Catholic) lined into a 3-6 triple play.
Heidelberg (14-11, 3-5 OAC) chased Maier from the game in the fifth. Squibb and Morse ripped two-out singles and Monroe was hit by a pitch. Reliever Cal VonStien got Grove to hit a tapper back to the mound.
The Student Princes loaded the bases with two outs in the sixth with a walk and two hit batsmen. Squibb blistered a low line drive that found its way through the Polar Bear second baseman. Zenczak scored, but Martin was thrown out at home.
With a 3-1 lead, Huber worked into the seventh. A one-out walk and single put runners on the corners for the Polar Bears. Heidelberg head coach brought in Lowe for the second time in the afternoon. Lowe got Reed Allen to pop out and Wilson to ground out to first.
Huber allowed one run on three hits and struck out three in 6.1 innings.
Manner relieved Lowe to start the eighth and issued back-to-back singles. Obarski hit into a double play, but Eltzroth scored from third to make the score 3-2. After a walk, Ohio Northern tied the game on a double by Cory Martin.
In the bottom of the eighth, Zenczak and Martin were hit by pitches with one out. VonStein made way for Chad Smith. Staab greeted Smith with a single to load the bases. Squibb popped out to third for the second out. Morse followed with a double to the gap in rightcenter, his fourth hit of the game. Zenczak and Martin scored to give Heidelberg a 5-3 lead. Monroe walked to re-load the bases. Grove popped out to end the inning.
Ben Sniezek (Dearborn Heights, MI/Crestwood) came on in the ninth and earned his second save of the season. Sniezek fanned Eltzroth for the final out.
Manner lost game one, but won the second game to push his record to 3-2. VonStein (0-2) took the loss for the Polar Bears.
Heidelberg hosts Marietta for an OAC doubleheader on Monday, with the first pitch at 1 p.m. A doubleheader at Baldwin Wallace awaits the Student Princes on Tuesday.