ALBION, Michigan -- Freshly ranked in the D3baseball.com/NCBWA Top 25, the No. 24 Heidelberg University baseball team lost on the road, 5-4 at Albion College, in a non-conference affair. The Britons jumped out to an early 4-0 lead, then tacked on an unearned run late.
Heidelberg dropped to 12-4 on the season while Albion improved to 8-6.
'Berg starter Tristan Phillips gave up two runs in the first and two in the third. He worked a full three innings, allowing four runs (three earned) on six hits and a walk.
After squandering an opportunity in the first, Heidelberg finally got things moving in the fifth with the bottom of the order. Zach Doran and Tyler Smith set the table with singles to right. Doran scored on a base hit by Kane Bateman. With runners on the corners, a wild pitch scored Doran and sent Bateman to third. Two batters later, Kyle Psychas doubled to left, plating Bateman.
Down one in the seventh, Heidelberg knotted up the game. Kyle Jenkins singled through the left side, stole second and moved to third on an errant throw. He dashed home on a sacrifice fly by Marc Ochoa.
The Britons answered in the subsequent half inning. A two-base error put the leadoff batter on second. After a sacrifice bunt, Albion took the lead on a base hit to center.
Heidelberg managed to load the bases in the ninth, but could not deliver the tying run.
Mason Metz (1-1) took the loss, despite another strong outing in his breakout sophomore season. Metz, who relieved Phillips to start the fourth, worked four innings and allowed just the one unearned run in the seventh. He scattered three hits and struck out five. Joey Wenning worked a scoreless eighth inning.
Heidelberg is 12-0 when tallying 10 or more hits, 0-4 when getting less than 10.
Smith and Bateman were the only Student Princes with multi-hit afternoons.
The Student Princes won't have to wait long for an opportunity to regroup. HU hosts Defiance for another midweek non-conference contest. Game time at Peaceful Valley is scheduled for a 4 p.m. first pitch.