BASE: Berg puts down Greyhounds

BASE: Berg puts down Greyhounds

PORT CHARLOTTE, Florida -- After their day off, the Heidelberg University baseball team picked right back up on Wednesday, pounding Moravian College, 13-6. The Student Princes scored in bunches -- plating two or more runs in four innings.  The offense helped bolster a strong start by freshman Brady Knizner.  

With the victory, Heidelberg -- winners of three straight -- improved to 4-2 overall.

Marc Ochoa and Kane Bateman had three hits apiece for The Berg. As a team, HU amassed 16 hits, including a three-run homer by Jake Davis.

Heidelberg got off to a hot start. After a 1-2-3 top of the first, Kane Bateman singled, advanced to second on a balk and moved to third on a single by Matt Psychas. Marc Ochoa -- in his hand-delivered #13 jersey -- sent a bouncer through the right side for an RBI single. Keaton Mark beat out the throw on what could have been an inning-ending double play, which allowed Psychas to score.

Sloppy defense reared its head for The Berg in the top of the second, as the Greyhounds scored three times, taking a 3-2 lead.

In the third, the defensive struggles beset Moravian (2-4). Kyle Jenkins reached on a throwing error and advanced on a balk. With a prolonged at bat because of a dropped foul ball, Psychas walked. After both runners advanced on a wild pitch, Jenkins scored on a groundout by Mark. Parker Fronk delivered the go-ahead RBI with a single back through the box.

Up 4-3 in the fourth, HU tacked on four more runs. Zach Doran walked and stole second. Tyler Smith deftly used his hands to send a bunt to third that hugged the line and hit the bag. Doran scored on a double steal. Bateman plated Smith, his fellow student statistician, with a single to right center. Next, Psychas doubled down the left field line, just out of the reach of a diving Greyhound. Bateman scored from first on the play. Mark drove in Psychas with a blistering single to right.

While the Student Princes built an 8-3 lead, Knizner was sharp in his first collegiate start. Knizner (1-0) rebounded after the three-run second, in which only one run was earned, by putting up zeroes into the seventh. There, in his final inning of work, he allowed another unearned run. The southpaw went a full seven innings, allowing one earned run on four hits. He fanned five and walked one.

In the seventh, Jake Davis put the game out of reach with a three-run homer to left into a brisk Florida wind. Doran would follow with a single up the middle. After two stolen bases, he scored on a single by Bateman. Stephen Currie singled home Heidelberg's final run in the eighth inning.

Brady Ansara worked a scoreless eighth inning in his season debut. Freshman Trey Ickes worked the ninth in his collegiate debut, allowing two runs.

Over the past seven season, the Student Princes are 6-0 on March 6 -- the birthday of luminaries such as Renaissance painter Michelangelo, filmmaker Rob Reiner, basketball legend Shaquille O'Neal, and kindergartener Caroline Garvin.

Since being moved into the leadoff spot on Sunday, Bateman is hitting .500 with five runs scored and five RBI.

Doran had four stolen bases on the day, becoming the first Heidelberg player to do so since Joey Rydzewski swiped four against Defiance in 2017.

Each Heidelberg starter had a hit on the day.

Ickes is the fifth HU freshman to toe the rubber this spring -- all of whom recorded a strike out for their first collegiate out.

Both Heidelberg/Moravian games this season ended 13-6.

Heidelberg returns to action on Thursday with a 3 p.m. rematch against Misericordia.