WOOSTER – In a clash of teams ranked in the top 10 of the latest d3baseball.com rankings, 9th-ranked Wooster proved to be too much to handle for the 7th-ranked Heidelberg University baseball team. The Student Princes dug an early hole and were never able to dig out, falling 16-8 on a cold and windy day in Ohio despite rallying for 7 runs in the 9th inning.
Heidelberg (25-7) wasted a leadoff walk to start the game, as the Wooster starter retired the next three batters in a row via the strikeout.
In the bottom of the first, Berg starting pitcher Sam Ankrom allowed just one hit, but it proved to be a costly one. With two outs, an error by Joey Rydzewski at shortstop allowed the first run to score. After Ankrom walked the following batter, the Fighting Scots made him pay when they hit a three-run home run to right for their only hit of the inning, quickly making the score 4-0.
Ankrom was able to settle in after that inning, throwing three straight scoreless innings, but the Student Princes were unable to rally for any momentum, going scoreless as well.
After four innings pitched without allowing an earned run, Ankrom was replace by Jimmy Kenosh on the mound, and Wooster then added to their lead. A leadoff home run in the fifth extended the lead as the deficit grew to seven runs.
In the top of the sixth, the Berg was finally able to get on the scoreboard when Derek Hug hit an RBI single with two outs, but that was all they were able to plate, still trailing 7-1.
Wooster (26-5) had a big answer in the bottom of the inning, however, scoring six more times to put the game out of reach.
The host Fighting Scots tacked on a few more insurance runs near the end of the game , taking a 16-1 lead to the ninth, but Heidelberg would not go down without a fight.
After Hug was walked to lead off the inning and was pinch ran for by Darrin Shirk, Eric Monroe singled to center. Wooster then recorded the first out of the inning, but Steven Morse and Alex Grove came through with back-to back RBI singles. A pitching change for the Fighting Scots did no good as the next batter walked before Joey Rydzewski hit a 2-RBI single to make the score 16-5. An RBI groundout by T.J. Harkness plated the fifth run of the inning, bringing Doug Miller to the plate. The senior promptly drilled a two-run home run to right, making the score 16-8. That would be all the Student Princes would go for, however, as it was too little, too late.
Despite not allowing an earned run, Ankrom (4-1) was dealt his first defeat of the season. He finished his four innings allowing four hits and five walks while striking out five.
The Heidelberg bullpen had a rough outing, as four different pitchers each threw an inning of relief, but none of them were able to keep Wooster off the board.
The four errors made by the Student Princes proved to be costly, as they gave up seven unearned runs in the game.
Heidelberg will look to regroup this weekend when they return to Ohio Athletic Conference play to face Otterbein in a doubleheader on Saturday. The first of those two games in Westerville is scheduled to start at 1:00 p.m on April 25th.