BASE: Berg rallies late, holds on for win

(File photo by Mason Hainey)
(File photo by Mason Hainey)

NORTH MANCHESTER, Indiana -- One day after upending a ranked opponent, the Heidelberg University baseball team hit the road for their final tune up before the start of conference action. A late surge lifted the Student Princes over host Manchester University, 8-7. Heidelberg scored six runs in the final two innings, then held on for the win despite a frantic Spartan rally in the ninth.

Kane Bateman drove in two and went for 4-for-5 -- including his first extra-base hit of the season. Marc Ochoa, who made his first appearance on the mound, and Keaton Mark each tallied two hits on the day.

With the victory, the Student Princes won the season series with the Spartans, 2-1.  Heidelberg improved to 10-3 on the season while Manchester fell to 2-12.

Ochoa started the game and worked two innings. He allowed a two-run homer to Nick Rush in the first inning.

In the third, Tyler Smith had a bunt single then moved to third when Zach Doran reached on an error. Bateman doubled to right center, driving in Smith. Sam Runyan, making his first varsity start, scored on a sacrifice fly by Kyle Jenkins.

Tristan Phillips (3-0) took over for Ochoa in the third and held the Spartans scoreless until the seventh. Manchester snuck an unearned run across, taking a 3-2 lead. In total, Phillips worked five innings and allowed just the one unearned run on four hits.

In the eighth, The Berg took the lead with a pair of runs. With Doran and Bateman on second and third, Matt Psychas reached on an error, which tied the game. Ochoa, who shifted into the designated hitter role after his pitching appearance concluded, gave the visitors a 4-3 lead with a single to left.

Heidelberg tacked on four insurance runs in the ninth, which would prove critical. Mark singled, stole second, then scored on a base hit to right by Parker Fronk. Fronk motored across the diamond on a sacrifice bunt and a wild pitch, then scored on a base hit by Doran. After a pitching change, a Bateman single and an RBI fielder's choice by Jenkins pushed two more runs across.

Up 8-3 in the ninth, HU closer Joey Wenning relieved Justin Liserio -- who had worked a perfect eighth inning. The Spartans used two walks, a balk and five hits to score four times. With the bases full, the game ended on a fly ball to center by Rush.

Manchester had five players record multi-hit afternoons, including Rush.

Spartan starter Jacob Van Pelt worked 7.1 innings, allowing four runs (one earned) on seven hits. He picked up the loss.

Jenkins was 0-for-4 with two RBI, snapping his hitting streak at 12.

Heidelberg batters struck out a season-low two times on Thursday.

Ohio Northern University visits Peaceful Valley for the start of OAC competition. First pitch of the doubleheader is scheduled for 1 p.m.