BEREA -- The Heidelberg University baseball team began the 2019 postseason with a disappointing 9-5 loss to Ohio Northern University on a rain-soaked Thursday afternoon. Heidelberg, the No. 2 seed, will face the No. 1 seed Baldwin Wallace in an elimination game on Friday.
With rain quickly approaching, ONU starter Nate Bye and 'Berg starter Alex Sir Louis cruised through the first three innings. In the fourth, Polar Bear Caleb Thomas doubled and scored on a passed ball.
Down 1-0, Heidelberg senior Parker Fronk evened the score in the bottom of the fifth. Fronk belted his fourth home run of the season -- a lead off shot to left center.
ONU regained the lead in the top of the sixth on a two-run home run by Matthew Burkett. The No. 3 seeded Polar Bears padded their lead prior to the first rain delay with two more runs in the seventh.
Ahead 5-1, Ohio Northern sprinkled in another four runs around a second rain delay in the eighth.
Down 9-1, the Student Princes were finally able to string together hits in the bottom of the eighth. With Blake Lester on in relief of Bye, Heidelberg scored four runs. Pinch hitter Jake Davis singled before Kane Bateman and Kyle Jenkins drew walks. James Fisher relieved Lester -- then plunked Matt Psychas to force in a run. Marc Ochoa smoked a single off the glove of the shortstop which allowed two runs to score. After Fronk lined to left, Tyler Smith drove in Psychas with a single to center. Following the third pitching change of the inning, Josh Mohr got out of the jam with a 4-6-3 double play.
In the ninth, Mike Warden got to third, but Heidelberg was unable to rally back.
Sir Louis (8-2) went 6.1 innings and allowed five runs (four earned) on six hits. Brady Knizner did not allow a run in 0.2 innings. Mason Metz gave up four runs without recording an out before Cayden Rollins threw two shutout innings.
The lower seeds swept the day, as No. 4 Otterbein upended BW, 2-1, in Thursday's first game.
Weather permitting, Friday's first game -- between Ohio Northern and Otterbein -- will start at 9:30 a.m. Heidelberg and BW will follow. The final game on Friday pits the loser of the day's first game against the winner of the second game.