SPRINGFIELD – The 7th-ranked Heidelberg University baseball team took an early lead and never looked back on Tuesday, defeating the Wittenberg Tigers 23-8 on their home field. The Student Princes hit a pair of home runs, a three-run bomb and a grand slam, and pounded out 19 hits in the rout to improve to 25-6 on the year.
It was a quick start for the Berg when they took an early 2-0 lead after the top of the first. Christian Verde drew a bases-loaded walk while Evan Long scored the second run of the inning off a wild pitch.
After starting pitcher Alex Simun threw a pair of scoreless innings to open the game defensively for the Student Princes, they struck again in the top of the third. After Wittenberg gave up a couple of free bases to open the inning, Verde drilled an RBI single to center to make it 3-0. The next batter, Steven Morse, lined a sacrifice fly to center to plate the second run of the inning. With two outs, Joey Rydzewski roped a two-RBI single to center to make the score 6-0 going to the bottom of the third.
Wittenberg (6-19) was able to strike for a pair in the bottom of the fourth, but Heidelberg had a quick answer. After already scoring three runs in the inning, Derek Hug barreled up a pitch with two outs for a three-run home run, making the lead 12-2 in favor of the Student Princes.
The host Tigers were able to scrape together a few hits and score two more in the bottom of the fifth, but once again, HU responded in the top of the sixth. All-in-all, the Berg went for 10 runs in the inning, highlighted by a grand slam to right field by Evan Long to give the Student Princes a commanding 22-4 lead.
From that point on, Heidelberg cruised their way to a final score of 23-7 as plenty of Student Princes saw playing time off the bench. Joe Sefik helped the Berg tack on one more in the 9th with an RBI single in his first plate appearance of the season.
Simun picked up his second win in as many weeks to improve to 2-0 on the season. He went five innings while allowing seven hits and seven runs with just four of those being earned.
Conner Pacella pitched in relief of Simun for his first appearance of the year, throwing three innings of relief while allowing one run. He struck out three while not allowing a walk during his time on the mound.
Ben Sniezek pitched a scoreless 9th inning to close out the game.
Long led the way with five runs driven in for the game while Hug and Alex Grove each picked up three RBI.
EXTRA BASES: Hug's home run was his 8th of the season, which leads the OAC.
The Student Princes will travel to #9 Wooster tomorrow, April 22nd, for a top-10 matchup. That non-conference contest is scheduled to start at 4:00 p.m.