Helpless -- HU misses out on tourney berth

(James C. Kenosh/Heidelberg Athletics)
(James C. Kenosh/Heidelberg Athletics)

TIFFIN, Ohio -- With the Ohio Athletic Conference Tournament looming, the Heidelberg University baseball team needed to win and get help in order to clinch a berth.

The Student Princes won -- sweeping Wilmington College, 5-0 and 5-2 -- but the other games around the conference didn't go their way. Thus, HU fell one game shy of advancing to next weekend's four-team tournament.

Joey Rydzewski was 5-for-7 on the day, driving in two and stealing a base. The steal was his 25th of the season, a Heidelberg record. He surpassed previous record of 24, held by Jeremy Wentworth (2009) and Kyle Leatherman (2004).

In all, six Student Princes enjoyed multi-hit afternoons -- including seniors Adam Hershberger, Evan Long and Cory Jacobs.

Parker Fronk hit a bad-hop single with the bases loaded in the first inning to give the hosts a 2-0 lead on Senior Day.

In the fifth, Long doubled down the right field line. The throw into second from Tyler McDaniel hit Long in the helmet and ricocheted into center. The error allowed Matt Psychas to score.

Psychas doubled in Joe Walton in the seventh, and later scored on a wild pitch.

Anthony Hajdu (7-2) threw 6.1 shutout innings in the 5-0 win. He scattered five hits and three walks. Cameron Deemer entered in the seventh and worked out of a bases loaded jam. Deemer worked around a leadoff triple in the eighth en route to his second save of the season.

To start game two, Rydzewski doubled to the warning track in right center. After swiping his record-setting 25th base of the year, he scored on a groundout by Psychas.

Heidelberg added a run in the fifth with Long's team-leading fifth home run of the season, drilled down the right field line.

The Tricolor extended their lead with a three-run fourth. Fronk was hit by a pitch and moved to second on a single by Phillip Frazier. Darrin Shirk followed with a single down the left field line, plating Fronk. After a sacrifice bunt by Walton, Rydzewski drove in a pair with a single to right center.

The 5-0 lead was more than enough for the HU pitching staff. Jacobs (2-2) continued his string of fantastic starts by firing six shutout innings. After the Quakers scored twice in the seventh, Deemer returned to the mound for two perfect innings to notch his third save of the year.

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE

Heidelberg recognized five seniors after the game -- Long, Jacobs, Hershberger, Alex Manner and Alex Simun.

The middle infielders -- Rydzewski and Long -- continued their Gold Glove-worthy seasons with more dazzling defensive efforts.

Mount Union (14-2) will host the four-team OAC Tournament. Marietta (14-4) grabbed the No. 2 seed, Otterbein (11-7) is the No. 3 seed and John Carroll (10-8) claimed the No. 4 seed. Baldwin Wallace and HU, both 10-8, were left out. JCU held the edge in the three-way tiebreaker. .

UP NEXT

Heidelberg concludes the 2017 season with a non-conference home game against La Roche College (30-8), ranked No. 13 in the D3baseball.com Top 25. The game at Peaceful Valley will start at 4 p.m. Live stats will be available at BergAthletics.com.