TIFFIN -- One bad inning in the field didn't derail the Heidelberg University baseball team, which defeated Defiance College, 15-7. HU pounded out 14 hits, coming from an early 6-1 deficit to claim the non-conference victory.
Heidelberg improved to 12-9 on the season while Defiance slipped to 6-15.
The Student Princes manufactured a run in the bottom of the first. Joey Rydzewski left off with a bouncing single up the middle. Rydzewski, the OAC leader in stolen bases, swiped second and third. He trotted home on a sacrifice fly to left center by Evan Long.
The Yellow Jackets scored six runs, five unearned, in the top of the second. Justin Liserio, in his first career start, had bases loaded with two outs. The No. 9 hitter Michael Gilliland singled to left center to tie the game. Liserio got Zack Reed to pop up on the infield -- but the ball popped out of the mitt of first baseman Parker Fronk. Two hits and a hit batter later, Liserio gave way to reliever Conner Pacella. Pacella allowed a single past a diving Rydzewski at short before ending the inning on a strikeout.
Down 6-1, The Berg chipped away with a run in the bottom half of the frame. Cory Jacobs singled to left and stole second. After moving to third on a groundout, he scored when Kyle Slovick launched a basehit to the warning track in right.
In the bottom of the third, the Tricolor erupted for seven runs. With two on and no outs, Long singled to center to drive in Rydzewski. Fronk grounded a single through the hole on the right side, plating Matt Psychas. After a walk loaded the bases. Alex Manner slashed a single to left center, scoring Fronk and Long. Defiance changed pitchers, but Darrin Shirk greeted reliever Drew Miller with a single through the 5-6 hole, bringing in Jacobs. Joe Walton capped the inning with a two-run single.
Alex Simun, who relieved Pacella to start the third, retired the first 13 batters he faced. Simun (2-1) worked five innings of one-hit baseball and struck out seven.
With Simun in complete control, Heidelberg added a run in the fifth on a Psychas sac fly. They then scored two more in the sixth, on a double steal and on a Kyle Jenkins sacrifice fly.
Heidelberg finished out their scoring with a three-spot after the seventh inning stretch. Rydzewski drew a leadoff walk, stole second and third, then scored on a wild pitch -- all in the span of Psychas' plate appearance. Later in the inning, Fronk drove in his second run of the game with a single through the left side. The final run came across on a 5-4-3 double play.
Defiance would score one run off of Kyle Psychas in the eighth.
INSIDE THE BATTERS BOX
All nine starters recorded a hit for Heidelberg. Rydzewski, Psychas, Long and Fronk each rapped two basehits.
Walton, Manner, Fronk and Long all had two RBI.
In total, Heidelberg stole 10 bases in 11 attempts.
A combined 12 pitchers toed the rubber in the game.
The game was moved up two hours because a rainy evening forecast.
QUICK HITS WITH FITZ
Head coach Chad Fitzgerald on the win: "I thought Alex Simun did a really good job coming in and silencing Defiance ... He allowed our offense to do what it does ... We were aggressive on the basepaths which put them in some difficult situations ... It went in our favor."
The Berg will travel to Muskingum University (8-11, 1-3 OAC) on Saturday for a conference doubleheader. Game times are scheduled for 1 and 4 p.m.