ADRIAN, Michigan -- Back in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since the 2015 season, the Heidelberg University baseball team defeated host Adrian College, 4-3, on Friday. The Student Princes scored twice in the first and twice in the fifth while Alex Sir Louis won his ninth game of the season.
With the victory, Heidelberg will face Denison in Game Four of the Adrian Regional, scheduled for 3 p.m. on Saturday. Heidelberg will bat as the visitors.
No. 3 Adrian (35-8), playing as the visitors because of seeding, scored twice in the first. After Zach Zschering doubled to start, he scored on a double to right by Gunner Rainey. Brady Wood singled to center, plating Rainey. Starter Alex SIr Louis avoided further damage by striking out Korey Mazur with runners on the corners.
No. 2 Heidelberg (31-13) answered in the bottom of the inning. Kane Bateman drew a leadoff walk and scored on a triple into the left field corner by Matt Psychas. With two down, Parker Fronk served a single to left center, tying the game.
After the wild first inning, both squads settled down. Still tied at 2 in the bottom of the fifth, Heidelberg loaded the bases with nobody out. After a strikeout, Eric Devore reached on an RBI fielder's choice -- which pushed across Psychas with the go-ahead run. Zach Doran sent a single to right, scoring Marc Ochoa and putting the Student Princes up 4-2.
The Bulldogs -- ranked No. 9 in the latest D3baseball.com Top 25 -- battled back in the seventh. Brandon Cooper hit a solo homer to left center, cutting the HU lead in half. With two outs, Thomas Miller walked and Rainey singled. Again, though, Sir Louis limited the Bulldogs by picking up his sixth strikeout of the contest.
After Brady Knizner threw a scoreless eighth, closer Joey Wenning entered in the ninth. Cooper singled to start, then moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. Following a ground out that sent Cooper to third, Heidelberg intentionally walked Rainey. With Wood at the plate, Wenning induced a fielder's choice to short to seal the win.
With the save, Wenning ties Ben Thorpe for second on Heidelberg's career saves list.
Sir Louis (9-2) went seven full innings, allowing three runs on nine hits.
Heidelberg is 5-2 against ranked opponents this season.
Seven Student Princes had hits, but no one had an multi-hit performance.
Saturday's opponent, Denison, defeated La Roche 4-0 in the first game of the regional. The Big Red defeated Heidelberg in Granville, 8-2, in late April.
The winner of the Denison-Heidelberg game advances to Sunday's regional title game. The loser will face the winner of the Adrian-La Roche game on Saturday evening.