TIFFIN – The 8th-ranked Heidelberg University baseball team cruised to a non-conference victory on Wednesday, routing Defiance College 16-5 at Peaceful Valley. The Student Princes built themselves an early lead and did not let up, scoring 10 runs in the first four innings of the victory. Senior Doug Miller led the way for the Berg on the day, going 4-for-5 with three RBI in the rout.
Alex Simun got the start on the mound for Heidelberg (22-5) and was able to make quick work of the Yellow Jackets early. After a one-out single in the first, the sophomore recorded a pair of groundouts to bring HU to the plate.
In the bottom of the inning, the Student Princes took advantage of a pair of free bases to open the frame, bringing them around to score later in the inning. Steven Morse plated the first run of the game with an RBI single through the right side while Alex Grove drove in the second with a sacrifice fly to center field.
After Simun set down Defiance in order in the second, Heidelberg struck again. Evan Long followed a T.J. Harkness double with an RBI single to make the score 3-0 with one out. With two out and two runners on, Christian Verde lifted a fly ball to right that fell in right, as the Yellow Jacket outfielder battled the sun and wind, giving Verde the two-RBI double.
Defiance (12-12) was able to strike for three runs in the third, but Heidelberg did not allow that threat of a close score to last long, opening up the game in the bottom of the fourth. After already scoring one run in the inning on a wild pitch, Miller came through with a solid two-run single to right field, making the score 8-3. The Berg plated two more runs later in the inning, as Austin Fleming and Joey Rydzewski each recorded an RBI single.
The two squads traded runs in the sixth inning and Defiance was able to add on one more in the top of the seventh, but the Student Princes had a big answer. Seven straight HU batters were able to reach base by either a hit by pitch or single, scoring four runs before Harkness brought in one more on a sacrifice fly ball to center.
Simun picked up his first win of the year, improving to 1-0. He finished his day on the mound going six innings while allowing 11 hits and no walks, giving up four runs while striking out five.
Heidelberg piled up 19 hits in the blowout, led by Miller and Rydzewski, who each tallied four. Verde and Harkness had three apiece while Verde drove in three runs in the victory.
EXTRA BASES: Derek Hug stole his 17th base of the season in the win, adding to his OAC-leading total.
Heidelberg will be back in action at Peaceful Valley tomorrow, April 16th, to take on Case Western Reserve, weather permitting. That non-conference game is scheduled to start at 4:00 p.m. in Tiffin.