TIFFIN – Heidelberg University baseball picked up its third win of the season against a top-25 opponent in a 6-2 over #6 Marietta College in the first game of an OAC doubleheader. The Pioneers salvaged a split with an 11-7 win the nightcap.
Heidelberg (15-12, 4-6 OAC) struck first with a pair in the bottom of the second. Alex Grove (Canal Fulton/Canton Central Catholic) and Derek Hug (Bryan) opened the frame with back-to-back singles. Ben Blystone (Brownsburg, IN) laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners. Andrew Zenczak (Brunswick) hit an RBI groundout to second base to score Grove. Jordan Martin (Powell/Olentangy Liberty) followed and rocked a single to left-center that sent Hug home.
Marietta (17-7, 7-2) used a two-out rally to score in the fourth. ‘Berg starter Ethan Holt (Galion/West Holmes) issued walk to Tim McCoy. McCoy advanced to second on a wild pitch. Bryan Gregorich hit a ball to the left side that the shortstop Zenczak dove to knock down. Christian Demko followed Gregorich’s infield single with a line drive RBI single to right to cut the Student Prince lead to 2-1. Holt fanned Tyler Packanik to end the inning.
The Student Princes responded in the bottom half of the inning. Zenczak laced a one-out single to center. Martin followed with a bouncer up the middle that the second baseman Packanik was able to smother for an infield single. After a strikeout, Arneal Squibb (Mishawaka, IN) ripped a two-out RBI single to right to plate Zenczak.
In the fifth, Eric Monroe (Chagrin Falls/Kenston) led off with a solo home run to left field. The shot was his first of the year.
Heidelberg added an insurance run in the sixth. Martin was hit by a pitch from Pioneer starter Justin Byers. He advanced to second on a groundout by Staab. After Squibb walked, Steve Morse (Scottsdale, AZ/St. Mary’s) lined a single past Packanik at second. Martin scored to make the score 6-1.
In the seventh, pinch-hitter Chris Winpigler led off with a single. Pinch-runner Zach Bukiewicz moved to second on a wild pitch. Holt was lifted after issuing a walk to Jordan Grilliot. Teddy Lowe (Ft. Wayne, IN/Carroll) relieved and got Evan Brockmeier to hit into a fielder’s choice. Aaron Hopper followed with a sacrifice fly to the warning track in right that scored Bukiewicz. After a two-out walks to Alex Toth and Josh Ungerbuehler loaded the bases, Lowe was removed in favor of Ben Sniezek (Dearborn Heights, MI/Crestwood). Sniezek got McCoy to fly out to Blystone in center to end the game.
Holt gave up two runs on six hits in six-plus innings of work to pick up his third win. Sniezek needed just two pitches to pick up his third save.
In the nightcap, Marietta scored three times in the second off of starter Tyler Fruhwirth (Beavercreek). Toth led off with a double just inside the right field line. After Ungerbuehler was hit by a pitch, McCoy hit an RBI single to center to score Toth. Gregorich sacrificed the runners ahead with a bunt to third. A single by Demko scored two Pioneers to make the score 3-0.
The ‘Berg responded with a pair in the bottom of the inning. Much like the top half of the frame, Heidelberg got a double from Monroe followed by a hit batsman. Hug laid down a bunt to advance the runners. Blystone hit a hot shot to third that got past Gregorich, allowing Monroe to score. Zenczak followed with a sacrifice fly to left.
The Pioneers put another three on the board in the third, highlighted by a two-run home run to left by Ungerbuehler that gave the visitors a 6-2 lead.
In the fifth, Marietta pushed across two more runs. Fruhwirth issued two walks to lead off the inning. On a sacrifice bunt to third, Martin’s throw across the diamond was over the head of Monroe. That allowed a run to score and put runners on second and third. A sacrifice fly to left from Ungerbuehler scored Hopper to push the lead to 8-2. After another walk, Lowe relieved Fruhwirth. Lowe struck out Gregorich for the second out. Demko followed with a single to left, but a strong throw from Hug cut down Toth trying to score from second.
Fruhwirth allowed eight runs, seven earned on six hits in 4.1 innings pitched.
Undaunted, the Heidelberg offense plated four runs in the bottom of the fifth. With one out, Martin, Staab and Squibb connected on singles to load the bases. Marietta starter Mike Mulvey struck out Morse for the second out of the inning. Monroe continued his solid day at the plate with a two-run double to left. Grove chased home two more with a single to right, making the score 8-6.
Travis Gray (Markle, IN/Norwell) relieved Lowe to start the sixth, but his time on the mound was short-lived. After a leadoff single, Gray got two fly ball outs. After a stolen base and an intentional walk, Toth hit a double that landed on the right field line. The hit scored a pair to make the score 10-6. Gray was removed after he hit Ungerbuehler with a pitch. Danny Kilger (Novi, MI) relieved and got McCoy to fly out.
The Pioneers added their 11th run on a two-out triple to deep left-center by Grilliot in the top of the seventh.
Nick Reiter (Whitehouse/Anthony Wayne) made his debut on the mound with two outs in the top of the ninth in relief of Kilger.
In the bottom of the ninth, Morse blistered a solo home run just under the scoreboard in right.
Mulvey threw a complete game, allowing seven runs on 11 hits. He struck out seven en route to his fourth victory of the season.
Heidelberg travels to Berea on Tuesday for its third OAC doubleheader in as many days. The first game is slated for a 1 p.m. start.