BASE: Student Princes' offense is dominant at Oberlin

File photo by Doug Sampson
File photo by Doug Sampson

OBERLIN -- The Heidelberg University baseball team pounded out 18 hits en route to a 17-7 non-conference win away to Oberlin College on Tuesday evening.

The Student Princes (26-11) also walked five times and benefited from five defensive errors to have a productive day at the plate.

The team's leader in RBI's, Kyle Jenkins, added five more today with a 2-for-5 day at the plate, while Kane Bateman and Zach Doran each collected three hits a piece.

How it Happened:

Heidelberg grabbed control of the game in the first inning with three runs. Jenkins walked and scored on an RBI triple from Matt Psychas. Psychas was then brought in on a sacrifice fly from Marc Ochoa. Parker Fronk then doubled and scored on an error by the Yeomen defense off the bat of Tyler Smith.

Oberlin (14-17) responded and took a two run lead in the bottom of the second putting up five runs off of 'Berg starter, Brady Knizner. The hosts scored the five runs on four hits, a walk and a throwing error.

The Student Princes bounced back to erase the deficit in the top of the third. Psychas doubled and Ochoa walked to put two on. The pair pulled off a double steal and each advanced an extra base on a throwing error from the Oberlin catcher. Fronk then hit a sacrifice fly to bring in Ochoa from third to tie the game.

After a scoreless fourth inning, the 'Berg added six runs in the top of the fifth to open up the game. Ochoa walked and Fronk singled to get the momentum started. Smith then doubled down the line in left to bring home Ochoa. With just one out, Zach Doran then stepped to the plate and belted a three-run homer over the fence in left center. Keeping the momentum going, pinch hitter, Eric Devore doubled, then Robert Hunt singled and stole second setting up Kane Bateman with two runners in scoring position. Bateman singled to left to cap off the scoring in the inning as both Devore and Hunt crossed home.

In the top of the seventh, HU was looking for insurance and found it via a four-run inning. With pinch runner Stephen Currie and Hunt on base, Bateman reached on an infield single to load the bases with no outs. Jenkins cleared the bases on a double to left center. Jenkins eventually came around to score on a RBI groundout by Fronk.

Oberlin then got two runs back in the bottom of the seventh, but it proved no threat.

The 'Berg tacked on two more in the top of the eighth. Another bases loaded double by Jenkins plated two runs this time as Jake Davis and Doran came around to score.

Knizner was hit for four earned runs, five hits, a walk and two strikeouts in the start. Cayden Rollins (1-0) worked four scoreless innings of relief and earned his first collegiate win allowing just two hits and three walks. Rollins also punched out four batters. Ryan Keane worked an inning and conceded two hits and two earned runs. Justin Liserio pitched a scoreless eighth and Trey Ickes struckout the 1-2-3 hitters for Oberlin to close out the ninth.

Inside the Box Score:

The 24-run combined score tied the highest scoring contest of the season for the Berg, but could not match last season's 29-13 scoreline between the Student Princes and the Yeomen at Peaceful Valley.

Seven Student Princes collected a multi-hit game, while nine players reached base via the hit.

Heidelberg saw a first collegiate start for Lucas Springer and a debut by Kadeen Beermann in the game.

Conference Playoff Positioning:

BW and Heidelberg are even atop the OAC standings. With one doubleheader remaining, both are 12-4 and have clinched a spot in the tournament. The race for the final two spots will come down to four teams who have a realistic shot at advancing.

If BW and Heidelberg tie for first (BW hosts JCU, HU visits Capital), they would earn co-champion honors and would utilize the tie-breaking structure to determine the host of the four-team tournament. Because they split their doubleheader -- and because the Fort Myers airport competition proved inconclusive -- seeing how teams sit in the standings at season's end would be necessary.

Up Next:

Heidelberg will travel to Capital University on Friday for a crucial doubleheader that will loom large in determining the OAC host site. First pitch in Bexley is slated for 1 p.m.