Tiffin, Ohio – May 13, 2010 – Senior Steve Decker (Maumee, Ohio / Springfield)was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to cap off a six-run seventh inning, and helped to send the Heidelberg University baseball team to its fifth Ohio Athletic Conference tournament championship game. The no. 1 seeded ’Berg topped no. 2 seed Marietta College 12-11 after the final out. Peaceful Valley, the home of Heidelberg baseball is the center of action for the 2010 OAC Baseball Tournament.
The win is the 13th straight for the Berg who improves to 36-6 overall. Its 36 victories ranks third all-time for wins in a single-season. Heidelberg, ranked third in the nation, will look to claim its fourth tournament title overall, third consecutive, tomorrow beginning at noon. Marietta, who entered the game ranked 17th in the nation falls to 31-10 on the year.
Marietta held a 6-2 lead after four innings of play. In the top of the sixth, Heidelberg tied the game with four runs of its own, but the Pioneers responded with four of its own to take a 10-6 lead. Marietta pushed its run total to 11 with another run in the sixth before being held scoreless by Heidelberg junior closer Andy Lowe (Fort Wayne, Ind. / Carroll) and the Berg defense.
In the seventh, Heidelberg went to work with two outs and one on. Willie Brechun(Canton, Ohio / Canton Central Catholic) knocked in Decker to start the scoring spurt.Jason Lash (Strongsville, Ohio / Strongsville) followed with a double to set up a two-run RBI single by Alex Monroe (Chagrin Falls, Ohio / Kenston). The scoring continued with Andrew Buelow (Marysville, Mich. / Marysville) and Derek Andrzejczak (Sylvania, Ohio / Sylvania Northview). Buelow had an RBI double off the center field fence and Andrzejczak registered an RBI single through the left side. A fielding error by Marietta’s short stop followed by a Lizcano walk loaded the bases for Decker, who was hit by a pitch that sent across the game-winning run.
Sophomore Sylvester Nino (Willard, Ohio / Willard) threw 4.0 innings of relief for the Berg to earn the win. Nino gave up seven hits and five runs, while striking out five to improve to 5-1 on the year. Throwing the final three innings was Lowe. He faced 10 batters and gave up just one hit, and struck out three. Lowe picked up his 10th save on the year, which marks a new single-season record at the Berg. In his first two seasons Lowe record nine saves each year to tie the single-season mark held by Ben Thorpe from 2003.
The Heidelberg hitters finished with 16 hits on the day. Leading the way was Brechun with a 4-for-5 outing, to go along with two RBI and two runs scored. Lizcano was 3-for-5 with two runs scored, an RBI and a home run. Lash finished with two doubles to give him a total of five in just two games of the tournament. Also tallying two hits was Gar Keen(Sparta, Ohio / Highland) and Monroe.
Aside from Brechun’s two RBI, Monroe and Keen had two apiece as well.