BASE: Berg begins World Series play Friday night

BASE: Berg begins World Series play Friday night


The remarkable 2019 season began with an inauspicious 3-1 loss to Anderson University on February 22. The outlook seemed even bleaker as Heidelberg got down 6-0 in the top of the first inning in the Florida opener against Mitchell College. However, a three-run homer in the second by Kyle Jenkins -- one of his two on the day -- helped right the ship, and perhaps the season, in a come-from-behind 13-11 win.

The Student Princes returned from Florida with a 7-2 record, highlighted by wins over three straight ranked opponents. OAC play began with a doubleheader drubbing of Ohio Northern -- 14-0 and 13-3. Four times during the course of conference play, HU managed to salvage a split after dropping the first game of the afternoon.

The Student Princes won their final seven OAC contests, claiming a share of the regular season title with Baldwin Wallace -- who earned the right to host via tie-breakers.

ONU beat Heidelberg in the opener, 9-5, forcing Chad Fitzgerald & crew into the losers bracket. The team fought back in a big way -- beating BW 11-3 and ONU 10-0 -- to get to the championship game. There, Heidelberg stumbled late in a 7-3 loss to Otterbein.

Given an at-large berth into the NCAA Tournament, Heidelberg traveled to the Adrian Regional. In three nail-biters, the pitching staff carried Heidelberg to three victories -- 4-3 over Adrian, 2-1 over Denison, and 9-6 over Adrian.

Energized to host the super regional, Heidelberg rallied late in game one, beating Wooster, 8-5. Though a ten-run eighth inning in game two removed much of the drama, the Student Princes and their fans at Peaceful Valley still celebrated their 14-1 victory over the Fighting Scots.

Coaches: Head Coach Chad Fitzgerald is in his fifth season at the helm. He started at HU as a graduate assistant in 2008 and was part of the 2010 World Series team. He played in the Division II World Series as a player at Seton Hill. Assistants Pat Christopher, Tim Cronin and Adam Ferita round out the well-balanced staff.

Outfielders: Seniors Matt Psychas and Kane Bateman have been stalwarts in left and right. Both are among the nations leaders in hits. After Keaton Mark's promising sophomore season was halted by injury, Mike Warden and Robert Hunt have split time in center. Speedy Josiah Aska is the next option in the outfield.

Infielders: Three of the everyday infielders are juniors -- third baseman Kyle Jenkins, shortstop Zach Doran and second baseman Tyler Smith. The lone senior is first baseman Parker Fronk, who had five two-out RBIs in the super regional. Utilityman Zach Evans would be next up, if called upon.

Catchers: Marc Ochoa has thrown out over 45% of base runners and swings a powerful bat. Sam Runyan, a freshman, is the back up.

Designated hitters: Eric Devore has seen a lion's share of the swings at DH for the second half of the season. Jake Davis is another option for Fitzgerald.

Starting Pitchers: Alex Sir Louis and Trevor Adkins anchor Fitzgerald's rotation. The starting rotation has also included Tristan Phillips, Mac Spears, Alec Zoeller and more recently, Cayden Rollins. Of this group, Spears and Sir Louis are the only righthanders.

Bullpen: Closer Joey Wenning has 11 saves on the season and has worked in every NCAA regional game this year. Mason Metz and Brady Knizner have been important set-up men. Trey Ickes, Ryan Keane, and Justin Liserio have not worked in the NCAA tournament, but are ready to contribute innings.

The 2019 season marks Heidelberg's 8th appearance in the NCAA Tournament. Heidelberg holds a 21-14 record (.600), dating back to their first trip in 2004.

Heidelberg's other World Series trip came in 2010, led by current Athletic Director Matt Palm. The 2010 squad went 2-2 in their trip to Appleton, Wisconsin.

For the first time, Cedar Rapids will host the Division III Championship. All games will be played at Veterans Memorial Stadium, home to the Cedar Rapids Kernels of the Midwest League (Single-A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins).

Tickets can be purchased directly on the Cedar Rapids Kernels' website. Options can be found below:

Ticket Options Price
All-Sessions Adult $35
Student $22
Senior Citizen (62+) $22
Daily Session Pass Adult $12
Student $8
Senior Citizen (62+) $8
Opening Ceremony BBQ Ticket $15

Links for live video, audio and stats will be published at The Berg Baseball and Berg Athletics twitter accounts will provide in-depth coverage throughout the tournament.

• Head coach Chad Fitzgerald is in his fifth year at the helm after being an assistant for seven years
• Career record stands at 135-79 (.631)

• 11 HU players were named to the All-OAC teams
Alex Sir Louis, Marc Ochoa, Kyle Jenkins, Tyler Smith and Matt Psychas were first teamers
Kane Bateman was a second team honoree
Tristan Phillips, Trevor Adkins, Mason Metz, Joey Wenning and Parker Fronk were honorable mentions

• Senior Alex Sir Louis is 11th in the nation with nine wins
• Sir Louis set a school record with a 1.10 ERA last year

• Senior Joey Wenning, whose HU career began as an infielder, led the OAC in saves
• With 11 saves, he is fourth in the nation
• With 17 career saves, he is 2nd all-time at HU

• Junior catcher Marc Ochoa has thrown out 23 runners on the season, tops in the OAC
• He ranks 14th in the nation with seven sac flies

• Senior left fielder Matt Psychas sits seventh in the nation with 127 total bases
• With 57 runs scored, Psychas led the OAC and is 14th in the country

• Senior right fielder Kane Bateman is third in the country with 84 hits
• Bateman moved to the top of the order in the fourth game of the season

• Senior Parker Fronk has 11 two-out RBIs on the year -- five of which came during the super regionals
• Fronk tied a school record with a 1.000 fielding percentage in 2018

• Starter Trevor Adkins is fourth in the nation with 14 starts, 32nd with eight wins

Tyler Smith, Zach Doran and Robert Hunt are all hitting over .300
• The trio has shown the ability to get on base in a number of creative ways

• Heidelberg has turned 52 double plays
• The 52 twin-killers puts Heidelberg second in the nation

• After only managing four hits in the season opener, the Student Princes have pounded out 576 hits (580 total)
• HU leads the nation in hits

• Of the nine starters, only Parker Fronk and Matt Psychas were everyday players in 2018
• Prior to this season, the other seven main starters (Hunt, Bateman, Smith, Doran, Jenkins, Ochoa, Devore) had combined for 186 at bats

• HU hadn't make the OAC Tournament since 2015 ... tying for fourth in 2017 and 2018, but missing out because of tie breakers

In Heidelberg's bracket, the Student Princes will battle Johns Hopkins, Babson and Birmingham Southern. Heidelberg beat Johns Hopkins in the 2010 World Series -- their first win in four tries. HU and Babson met in Florida in 2018, with the Student Princes emerging with a 12-3 win. The Tricolor has never faced Birmingham Southern.

On the other half of the bracket, Heidelberg has previously faced one school -- Webster (Heidelberg won 7-2 in 2005). HU has never faced Washington & Jefferson, Chapman or UMass - Boston.

  Birmingham-Southern Heidelberg  Babson  John's Hopkins
Record 39-13 15-6 35-13 14-4 38-8 15-2 35-11 13-5
Top Arms Richie Misischia 9-1, 2.13 ERA, 6 SV Alex Sir Louis 9-2, 3.67 ERA, 47 K Michael Genaro 8-3, 1.65 ERA, 66 K Jack Bunting 13-0, 2.20 ERA, 67 K
  Jake Cook 7-2, 3.77 ERA, 69 K Trevor Adkins 8-4, 4.58 ERA, 73 K Jordy Allard 8-0, 3.75 ERA, 44 K Sean McCracken 7-2, 4.79 ERA, 52 K
  John Michael Shirley 6-2, 3.03 ERA, 70K Joey Wenning 23 APP, 11 SV, 23 K Max Tannenbaum 5-1, 3.96 ERA, 7 SV Josh Hejka 6-2, 3.10 ERA, 6 SV
Top Bats Tyler Wise .354, 6 HR, 54 RBI Matt Psychas .365, 8 HR, 54 RBI Jake Oliger .333, 8 HR, 53 RBI Mike Eberle .374, 4 HR, 44 RBI
  Tyler Hamel .331, 9 HR, 42 RBI Kane Bateman .400, 15 2B, 35 RBI Nicholas Browne .285, 11 HR, 39 RBI Chris DeGiacomo .338, 12 HR, 47 RBI
  Cole Steadman .340, 12 2B, 31 RBI Kyle Jenkins .349, 3 HR, 47 RBI Edward Lehr .293, 12 2B, 36 RBI Nate Davis .331, 16 HR, 44 RBI
Head Coach Jan Weisberg 14th Year Chad Fitzgerald 5th Year Matt Noone 16th Year Bob Babb 40th Year
World Series Appearances 1st   2nd 2010 1st   4th 1989, 2008, 2010
Statistical Breakdown Stat National Rank Stat National Rank Stat National Rank Stat National Rank
Team Average


86 .328 18 .300 110 .289 195
On Base Percentage .400 74 .407 49 .396 98 .415 25
Slugging Percentage .408 142 .459 31 .424 99 .506 4
Hits 529 10 580 1 485 27 458 47
Doubles 75 134 109 9 96 34 97 29
Triples 8 226 15 66 9 188 4 336
Home Runs 30 34 31 29 29 43 80 1
Stolen Bases 65 125 60 147 60 147 52 195
Runs 347 32 387 10 357 22 422 4
Team ERA 3.48 26 4.18 84 3.23 12 4.12 78
Strikeouts per 9 Innings 7.7 82 6.5 230 7.8 76 7.6 88
WHIP 1.31 30 1.49 109 1.18 6 1.32 31
Double Plays Turned 33 55 52 2 42 9 42 9