BASE: 10-run inning helps net a sweep of Muskies

(File photo by Doug Sampson)
(File photo by Doug Sampson)

NEW CONCORD, Ohio -- A late outburst in the first game of an OAC doubleheader propelled the Heidelberg University baseball team to a sweep over host Muskingum University. The Student Princes used a 10-run inning to win the opener 13-3 before an 11-5 win in the nightcap. Heidelberg pounded out a total of 34 hits, including 10 doubles and two home runs en route to the victories.

Heidelberg improved to 22-9 overall, 10-4 in the OAC.

Kyle Jenkins was one of eight Student Princes with multi-hit days. Jenkins was 7-for-11 with a double and three runs driven in. Mike Warden, Parker Fronk, Marc Ochoa, Matt Psychas and Kane Bateman each tallied four hits.

Game One: HEIDELBERG 13 MUSKINGUM 3

The Muskies only managed four hits off of starter Trevor Adkins -- but they put them to good use. In the first, a single and double by the first two batters put the hosts up one. Later, a single drove in another run.

After the two-run first, Adkins didn't allow another hit until Michael Pagano led off the sixth with a solo home run. Adkins went six full innings and gave up three runs on four hits. He walked two and struck out five.

Meanwhile, Ochoa hit a sacrifice fly in the third that pushed across an unearned run.

Trailing 3-1 in the the seventh, the Tricolor tied the game. Back-to-back doubled by Jenkins and Psychas chased starter Jake Norris from the game. After the pitching change, Fronk hit a one-out single which, coupled with a throwing error, allowed Psychas to knot the game.

Tristan Phillips relieved Adkins in the bottom of the frame and wriggled out of a jam. A double and a bunt single put Muskies on the corners. Trey Yoder sent a fly ball to Warden in center, who caught it and fired home in time to get Sam Pinckert at the plate. With two outs, a fly out ended the threat and brought the Student Princes back into the dugout riding a wave of momentum.

The top of the eighth featured 10 runs on 10 hits. Doran and Warden singled. Bateman singled and Doran scored the go-ahead run. Jenkins singled home Warden. Psychas loaded the bases with a bunt single. Ochoa double to center, scoring two. After a pitching change, Fronk singled home Psychas. Eric Devore drove in Ochoa with a single. The string of eight straight hits ended when Tyler Smith had the nerve to draw a walk. Doran also walked, which forced in Fronk. After another reliever entered, Warden doubled home two. Jenkins ended the scoring -- all of which came before an out was recorded -- with a single to right that drove in pinch runner Stephen Currie.

Phillips (4-0) held the Muskies scoreless in the eighth and Tyler Barker threw a scoreless ninth in his season debut.

Game Two: HEIDELBERG 11 MUSKINGUM 5
Instead of playing from behind in the second game, Heidelberg took control early. In the second, Warden was hit by a pitch, stole second and advanced to third on a fly out. He sprinted home on a bunt single by Smith. After moving to third on a double by Bateman, Smith scored on a hit by Jenkins.

Up 2-0, HU tacked on two more in the third. Ochoa hit his team-leading sixth home run to lead off. Fronk followed with a single, and would score on a wild pitch later in the inning.

In the fourth, another Bateman double was followed by three straight walks -- putting Heidelberg up 5-0.
After Muskingum got on the board in the bottom of the fourth, the Student Princes responded in the fifth. Doran doubled and advanced to third on a fly ball to right. He scored on a wild pitch.

Ahead 6-1, the visitors scored twice in the seventh -- again ignited by a double from Doran, who moved to third on a wild pitch. Smith walked then swiped second. Psychas plated the middle infielders with a double to right.

Berg starter Alex Sir Louis (6-1) went seven innings, surrendering one run on five hits. He walked one, hit two and fanned three.

An RBI double by Bateman in the eighth inflated the 'Berg lead to 9-1 before the hosts scored four times off of the bullpen.

Jake Davis punctuated the afternoon for the Heidelberg offense with a two-run homer in the ninth.

Joey Wenning, stellar in his previous outing -- striking out the side to earn the save in a one-run win over Baldwin Wallace on Tuesday -- breezed through a perfect inning of relief.

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE:

Bateman -- who has reached base in 27 straight games -- had three doubles on the day.

Fronk and Psychas each extended their hitting streaks to eight.

With six wins, Sir Louis has matched his total from last season -- after which he earned All-OAC and all-region accolades.

RACE FOR THE POSTSEASON:

Heidelberg and Muskingum were the only schools to play on Thursday -- moving their games up one day in anticipation of unfavorable weather over the holiday weekend. HU -- the first team in the league to get to 10 wins -- can watch the rest of the action unfold over the next few days. First-place BW will visit Capital at some point. Third-place John Carroll and fourth-place Otterbein are slated to meet on Saturday. Marietta, tied for fourth, hosts Ohio Northern on Saturday. The Polar Bears, who appeared to be endangered earlier in the year, have rattled off sweeps of JCU and Otterbein in their last OAC outings.

As a reminder, the top four teams at year's end gather at the top seed for a double elimination tournament. The winner receives the OAC's automatic qualifying spot in the NCAA Regional tournament. The format of the regionals has changed this season -- moving to four-team pods followed by super-regional series.

UP NEXT:

Heidelberg is scheduled to host Case Western Reserve University on Saturday for a single game at 1 p.m. Ohio Wesleyan is slated to travel to Tiffin on Tuesday for a 4 p.m. single game. If played, both games will be have live video streams up and running.