TIFFIN – No matter the situation, the Heidelberg University baseball team seems to be able to find a way to win. With their backs against the wall, facing a two-run deficit headed to the bottom of the 9th against Adrian College, the outlook was not bright, but that did not deter the Student Princes. The Berg mounted a rally with four hits in the inning, capping it off with a walk-off victory on an error by the Bulldog catcher. The 6-5 win for the 14th-ranked Student Princes improved their record to 13-1 on the season while Adrian dropped to 10-5.
It was not a pretty start for the Berg, as after an error and a pair of singles in the top of the first, Adrian had the bases loaded with none out. Despite that threat, Berg starting pitcher Steve Huber limited the damage, allowing just one run to open the game, which was unearned.
Holding that one-run deficit going into the bottom of the second, the Heidelberg bats came alive. Eric Monroe led off the inning with a double off the left-center wall, just missing out on a home run. After a fly out, Christian Verde laid into a pitch for a triple to deep center to score Monroe, tying the game at one. Later in the inning, after Verde scored on a wild pitch, the Student Princes plated one more off a double by T.J. Harkness to right-center field, giving Heidelberg a 3-1 lead.
Adrian had an answer, scoring one in the top of the third, and with Heidelberg's bats going quiet, they scored two more in the fifth, ultimately chasing Huber from the game. The junior right-hander for the Berg finished his afternoon with five innings pitched while allowing seven hits and four runs, three earned, while striking out seven.
The visiting Bulldogs were able to hold their 4-3 lead going to the eighth inning when a two-out double scored one more, stretching the lead to two.
Heidelberg was unable to answer in the 8th, and reliever Jimmy Kenosh was able to work out of a jam in the top of the 9th, holding the score a 5-3 headed to the bottom of the ninth. That was where the magic happened yet again.
Leading off the inning, Harkness reached on an infield single and was promptly followed by a singly by freshman Joey Rydzewski to shallow right. Evan Long attempted to sacrifice bunt during the next at-bat, but Adrian attempted to force-out Harkness at third, but the throw was late, making the bases loaded with no out. Alex Grove came through in the clutch during the next at-bat, drilling a single up the middle to cut the deficit to one. Derek Hug followed that with an infield single to tie the game, bringing Monroe to the plate. He then hit a sharp ground ball to the shortstop, who was able to force out Long at home, but when the catcher attempted to complete the double play at first, the throw was wide and went down the right field line, allowing Grove to score the winning run.
Kenosh (1-0) picked up the win in relief, pitching the ninth and part of the eighth innings for the Berg. He finished his outing going 1.1 innings, allowing two hits and no walks while striking out four.
Hug led Heidelberg at the plate with three hits, including a double that he stretched from what looked to be just a single up the middle in the bottom of the third.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE: This was the third walk-off victory for the Student Princes this year, as they registered a pair of walk-offs during their 11-game trip to Florida.
Freshman Sam Ankrom has now thrown 10 consecutive scoreless innings, dating back to his start against Denison in Florida. Ankrom threw 1.1 innings to relieve Huber against Adrian, striking out one while not giving up a run.
The 14th-ranked Student Princes will be back to Ohio Athletic Conference action this weekend when they travel to Muskingum on Saturday. The doubleheader against the Muskies is scheduled to begin with the first game at 1:00 p.m.