Tiffin, Ohio – March 30, 2010 – Numerous season-highs were set by the nationally ranked Heidelberg University baseball team in a sweep of non-conference foe Manchester College at Peaceful Valley, the home of ’Berg baseball located in Tiffin, Ohio.
In game one, Heidelberg connected for 17 hits in a 14-11 victory and returned in the night cap to register a season-best 21 hits in a 20-14 victory. Aside from its hits total in game two, Heidelberg scored a season-high 20 runs, had seven extra base hits, which is tops for the year as well. Included in its mix of extra base hits was a season-best five home runs.
The sweep improves Heidelberg, ranked second in the nation according to D3baseball.com, to 15-2 overall, while Manchester falls to 8-9.
In the opener, Manchester took an early 2-0 lead after two at bats. In the bottom half of the second, Heidelberg answered with six runs off of six hits to take over the game. Half of its runs in the inning came with two outs.
After a scoreless fifth, the Spartans tied the game in the top half of the sixth at 9-9. However the Berg answered with five runs over two innings to hold off a late two-run ninth by Manchester en route to the 14-11 win. A sacrifice fly to center field by Gar Keen(Sparta, Ohio / Highland) in the seventh proved to be the eventual game-winning run.
Picking up the win on the mound was junior Nathan James (Rockport, Ind. / South Spencer). James came in relief in the seventh and threw two innings, improving to 4-0. He allowed just one hit, while striking out two. Entering the game in the ninth with the tying run on deck, junior closer Andy Lowe (Fort Wayne, Ind. / Carroll) gave up just one hit and struck out two to earn his fifth save on the year.
At the plate, Heidelberg finished with 17 hits. Seven of its starters picked up a hit in the win. Leading the way was Keen, going 4-for-4 with four RBI, three runs scored and a home run. Ricardo Lizcano (Toledo, Ohio / Roy C. Start) was 3-for-6 with six RBI, four runs scored, a walk, two doubles and a home run. Jason Lash (Strongsville, Ohio / Strongsville) finished with three hits as well, while Steve Decker (Maumee, Ohio / Springfield), Willie Brechun (Canton, Ohio / Canton Central Catholic) and Alex Monroe (Chagrin Falls, Ohio / Kenston) each had two.
Rounding out its hitters was Elvin Williams (Euclid, Ohio / Euclid) with one. Also picking up an extra base hit on the day was Decker and Brechun with doubles.
Heidelberg’s bats continued to stay alive in game two. The Berg jumped out to a 15-6 lead after four innings of play.
In its first at bat, Heidelberg plated four of its five runs in the inning with two outs. Lash knocked a three-run home run to left field and two batters later Decker followed Lash’s lead to left field with a solo shot.
A seven-run third inning also assisted in the early lead for the Berg. Once again the Berg went to work with two outs, scoring six of its seven runs. Highlighting the inning was a three-run double by Keen down the right field line and a two-run home run to left field by Brechun, his second of the doubleheader.
Manchester pulled within 15-8 with two runs in the fifth prior to the Berg plating five runs in the bottom of the sixth courtesy of Lizcano and Lash. Lizcano had a two-run home run to left center field, his second on the day, and two batters later, Lash hit his second three-run shot to left field of the game.
In the eighth, the Spartans picked up five hits and took advantage of a ’Berg miscue to score six runs and push the final score to 20-14.
Eight batters contributed to Heidelberg’s 21-hit win in the night cap. Andrew Buelow(Marysville, Mich. / Marysville) was a perfect 3-for-3 with four runs scored, as was Lizcano. Lizcano also added three RBI, a walk and a home run. Finishing with three hits as well was Keen, Brechun and Decker. Brechun’s game included a double and a home run, along with five RBI and three runs scored. Keen was not far behind with a double of his own, three RBI and three runs scored. Decker had a home run, scored twice and had one RBI.
Lash finished with two hits and six RBI off of two three-run home runs. He also had a walk and scored three times. Also finishing with multiple hits and one RBI was Derek Andrzejczak (Sylvania, Ohio / Sylvania Northview).
Williams and Jordan Martin (Powell, Ohio / Olentangy Liberty) each finished with a hit apiece.
Throwing 1.2 innings of scoreless and hitless baseball to improve to 3-1 on the year was sophomore Sylvester Nino (Willard, Ohio / Willard). Along the way he struck out two.