BASE: HU salvages another OAC split

(Doug Sampson / File Photo)
(Doug Sampson / File Photo)

KENT, Ohio -- Playing at Kent State University's Schoonover Stadium, the Heidelberg University baseball team split a doubleheader with conference foe John Carroll University. The Blue Streaks walloped Heidelberg 14-0 in the opener before the Student Princes won the nightcap, 12-7.

With the split, Heidelberg moved to 17-8 overall and 5-3 in the OAC while John Carroll moved to 18-7, 7-1.

Matt Psychas had five hits and Parker Fronk drove in four on the afternoon.

GAME ONE: John Carroll 14 Heidelberg 0

Not much went right for the Student Princes in the opener. JCU scored an unearned run in the first to take the early advantage. Up 1-0 in the fifth, the Blue Streaks tacked on three runs on five hits.

In the bottom of the sixth, John Carroll removed all by scoring six runs on four hits. JCU put four more runs on the board in the eighth

Starter Brady Knizner went 4.2 innings, allowing four runs (three earned) on nine hits. Relievers Brady Ansara, Ryan Keane, Cayden Rollins and Trey Ickes followed.

Meanwhile, John Carroll starter Mitchell Midea did not allow a run in six innings of work. He issued two hits and three walks, but struck out six. John Merrill picked up a three-inning save, striking out three while allowing three hits.

GAME TWO: Heidelberg 12 John Carroll 7

After spotting the Blue Streaks a run in the first, Heidelberg got on the board in the third. Zach Doran singled to center, then moved to third on an errant pickoff attempt. Kane Bateman tied the game with a base hit through the right side.

Tied at one in the middle of the fifth, JCU retook the lead with a run charged to starter Alec Zoeller. Zoeller went 4.1 innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on three hits. He walked five and fanned two.

John Carroll added two in the sixth off of reliever Mason Metz, taking a 4-1 lead -- which, after the first game, may have felt insurmountable.

The resilient Student Princes, though, had other plans.

Singles by Matt Psychas and Marc Ochoa, followed by a walk to Jake Davis loaded the bases for The Berg in the seventh. After Psychas scored on a wild pitch, Ochoa scored on an RBI ground out by Parker Fronk. Tyler Smith followed with a game-tying two-out single to left center, driving in Davis. A walk to Doran put Smith in scoring position for pinch hitter Eric Devore. First pitch swinging, Devore rocked the go-ahead single through the left side to put HU ahead 5-4.

Heidelberg added two in the eighth. Two-out walks to Ochoa and Davis preceded a balk. With runners on second and third, Fronk sent a base hit up the middle to plate the pair.

Thirsty for insurance runs, The Berg added five runs in the ninth. Kyle Jenkins sent a bases-loaded sacrifice fly to right which drove in Doran. With the runners in motion, Psychas sent a bunt to third which scored Robert Hunt on the squeeze play. With third base unoccupied, Bateman never broke stride and headed to third. The JCU third baseman tried to throw the the shortstop, but the ball ticked off his glove and into shallow left. Bateman, still sprinting, scored easily. Following a walk to Ochoa, Davis drove in Psychas with a sacrifice fly. Fronk plated Ochoa with a double to the gap in left center.

Ahead 12-4, Heidelberg would hold on for a 12-7 win.

Metz earned the win, working 1.2 innings of relief. He allowed two runs on five hits. Mac Spears worked an inning of scoreless relief before giving way to Joey Wenning. Wenning went 1.2 innings before Tristan Phillips got the final out.

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE:
Heidelberg has lost the first game of three straight conference doubleheaders -- but has rallied to win the second game each time.

The Student Princes were 6-for-7 in stolen bases on the day, while JCU was 0-for-3.

The games were moved to Kent State University because of unplayable field conditions in University Heights.  

UP NEXT:

Heidelberg visits Mount Union on Saturday. First pitch of the doubleheader is scheduled for 1 p.m.