PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Despite heroics by Kyle Slovick, the Heidelberg University baseball team dropped its first game of the season, 4-3 in 12 innings, to Mitchell College. Slovick sent the game to extra innings with a massive solo homer with two outs in the ninth. Mitchell wriggled out of a jam in the 11th before breaking through in the 12th.
Heidelberg dropped to 3-1 on the season while Mitchell improved to 4-1.
Hitless through three, Heidelberg's offense awoke in the fourth inning. Evan Long, known to some as Alex or Ervin, laced a line drive single to left. After moving to second on a sacrifice and stealing third, he scored on an infield single by Parker Fronk.
Mitchell tied the game in the top of the sixth. With two outs, the Mariners loaded the bases with two hits and a walk. Zach Doran relieved starter Trevor Adkins -- but nicked the first batter with a 1-2 breaking ball to force in a run. He got out of the jam with a called strike three to the next Mariner. Adkins went 5.2 innings, allowing just the one run on four hits. He struck out eight in his first start at Heidelberg.
The Mariners took the lead with a single run in the seventh.
In the bottom of the eighth, leadoff batter Joey Rydzewski was hit by a pitch, moved to second on a wild pitch and to third on a groundout. After a pitching change, he sprinted home on another wild pitch.
Mitchell regained the lead in the top of the ninth. Kyle Hartenstein doubled and, with runners on the corners, slid into home just ahead of the tag on a double steal.
Slovick's heroics came on a 2-1 pitch with two outs in the ninth. His homer, which easily cleared the wall in right center, was the second of his career.
After Joey Wenning worked out of a jam in the 11th, the Student Princes had a golden opportunity to walk off with the win. With one out, Matt Psychas moved from first to third on a single to the gap by Fronk. Mitchell pitcher Bryce Bedard (1-0) escaped by inducing a pop up and a line out.
In the 12th, Mitchell capitalized on an opportunity that started with a sun-aided double to right. With two outs Peter Abate lined a single off of Hunter Hensley (0-1), driving in the go-ahead run.
Heidelberg went down in order in the bottom of the 12th.
In the loss, Long and Fronk each had two hits apiece.
The Student Princes return to North Charlotte Regional Park on Tuesday. They face Moravian College at 1 p.m.