TIFFIN, Ohio -- For the fourth time this season, the Heidelberg University baseball team toppled a ranked opponent. This time, the Student Princes scored 16 unanswered runs in a 16-5 dismantling of No. 18 Adrian College. Mason Metz earned his first career victory, changing the momentum of the game with one pitch.
Heidelberg, 9-3 overall, pounded out 12 hits. Adrian (7-2) had seven hits and four costly errors.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
After a scoreless first, the Bulldogs used four hits and three walks to plate five runs off of starter Alec Zoeller in the second inning.
Undaunted, Heidelberg battled back in the bottom half of the frame -- scoring four runs with two outs. With Keaton Mark and Zach Doran aboard with walks, Tyler Smith plugged the gap in left center with a two-run double. After a throwing error allowed Kane Bateman to reach, Kyle Jenkins singled in Smith. Psychas struck out, but reached on a wild pitch. Gunner Rainey's throw to first plunked Psychas in the backside, which allowed Bateman to jaunt home.
Up 5-4 in the third, Adrian threatened again. Zoeller left with one out and the bases loaded. Metz entered, and induced a 5-2-3 double play on his first pitch.
Bolstered by the momentum of Metz's escape, Heidelberg had base runners in the next three innings, but could not push a run across. Metz, meanwhile, held Adrian scoreless. The sophomore worked a career-long 4.0 innings, allowing just one hit.
In the sixth, however, Heidelberg broke through. Smith reached on an error and moved to third on a single down the right field line by Bateman, then scored on a groundout by Jenkins. Bateman moved to third on a wild pitch before scoring on a groundout by Psychas. With the bases empty, Ochoa found the trees along the banks of Rock Creek for his third homer of the year.
A bases-loaded sacrifice fly by Bateman scored Jake Davis, putting Heidelberg up 8-5.
The Bulldogs imploded in the eighth, as HU scored eight runs on a mere three hits. Fronk hit a bases-loaded screamer through the right side, scoring Psychas. Davis added an RBI fielder's choice, plating Ochoa. After a walk to Zach Doran, Smith was hit by a pitch, forcing in Mark. After a strike out and a run-scoring error, Psychas blasted his third home run -- a three-run shot to left.
Brady Knizner entered in the seventh, going 2.2 innings of hitless relief to close out the contest The freshman fanned two, picking up his first collegiate save.
FOR THE OPPONENT:
Thomas Miller and Dugan Darnell each had two hits for the Bulldogs … Jesse Marks took the tough-luck loss, allowing three runs -- all of which were unearned … Adrian used six pitchers in all.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE:
Jenkins has hit safely in all 12 games this season.
Heidelberg's four wins over ranked opponents: A 5-2 win over No. 21 Misericordia on March 7, a 9-6 win over No. 25 Kean on March 8, a 10-3 win over No. 5 Swarthmore on March 9, and Wednesday's 16-5 win over No. 18 Adrian.
The Student Princes are 8-1 in their last nine games.
Heidelberg is slated to travel to Manchester on Thursday to make up the rained out game from Monday. Saturday, Heidelberg is scheduled to host Ohio Northern for a conference-opening twinbill. Any weather-related changes will be posted at BergAthletics.com and @BergAthletics on Twitter.