MARIETTA, Ohio – Well, that didn't go as planned.
In their first game in the 2014 OAC Baseball Tournament, #2-seed Heidelberg University lost to #3-seed John Carroll, 13-7, at Don Schaly Stadium. The #3 Blue Streaks dominated early and held off a late charge by the #2 Student Princes.
Eric Monroe launched two home runs in the losing effort.
John Carroll (22-14) jumped on 'Berg starter Chris Thomas in the first inning. Thomas allowed five runs runs on four hits and a walk, retiring one batter before being removed. Reliever Adam Manner gave up two doubles before Joe Staab turned a 4-3 double play to end the inning.
The Blue Streaks plated two more in the third off of Manner, taking a 7-0 lead.
Heidelberg (31-10) threatened in the bottom of the third. After Andrew Zenczak and Staab singled with one out, Arneal Squibb sent a bouncer up the middle. JCU shortstop Mark Huddle dove and flipped the ball to second baseman Bobby Sabatino, who relayed the ball to first for the double play.
Manner allowed two unearned runs in the fourth as the Blue Streaks extended their lead to 9-0.
In the sixth, JCU blistered back-to-back triples off of reliever Ben Sniezek, scoring a pair.
The Student Princes got on the board in the bottom of the sixth. Zenczak led off with a double inside the left field line and moved to third on a single by Staab. Zenczak scored on a basehit by Squibb, but Heidelberg left the bases loaded, trailing 11-1.
With two outs in the bottom of the seventh, Squibb laced a two-run double to left center, plating Adam Hershberger and Staab. Monroe followed with a 3-run homer to left, closing the deficit to five runs.
The Blue Streaks added a pair in the ninth off of Travis Gray, the sixth 'Berg pitcher of the afternoon. Gray snared a liner back to the mound and doubled off a John Carroll runner at second to close out the inning.
Monroe added his second homer of the game to lead off the ninth.
Squibb finished with three hits and three RBIs. Zenczak, Staab and Alex Grove each had two hits. Heidelberg had 13 hits as a team, but committed four errors.
"There were some positives to take away there at the end," said 15-year head coach Matt Palm. "But ultimately, we can't give away some much at the beginning of the game."
The loss puts Heidelberg into the consolation bracket where they will face #4 Baldwin Wallace in an elimination game on Friday. The Yellow Jackets gave up two runs to #1 Marietta in the ninth and fell 3-2 in Thursday's first game. First pitch against BW is scheduled for 2 p.m.