Tiffin, Ohio – April 2, 2010 – The Heidelberg University baseball team opened up its 2010 Ohio Athletic Conference slate with a split with Muskingum University today, April 2, at Peaceful Valley. Heidelberg won game one 10-5, but fell 12-10 in game two.
Heidelberg, ranked second in the nation according to D3baseball.com, stands at 17-3 overall and 1-1 in the OAC, while Muskingum is 9-10 and 1-1.
In the opener Heidelberg and Muskingum were tied at two runs apiece before the Berg took the lead for good with three runs in the bottom of the third inning.
Willie Brechun (Canton, Ohio / Canton Central Catholic) had a double to center field to plate Ricardo Lizcano (Toledo, Ohio / Roy C. Start) for the first run in the third inning for the Berg. With two outs, Steve Decker (Maumee, Ohio / Springfield) had an RBI single to score Brechun. The final run of the inning came off the bat of Alex Monroe(Chagrin Falls, Ohio / Kenston), who had a double up the middle to score Jason Lash(Strongsville, Ohio / Strongsville) who reached the base paths via a walk.
A run apiece was traded in the fifth before Muskingum scored two runs in the top half of the sixth to pull within a run at 6-5. Heidelberg did not falter and added four runs off of two hits and a Muskingum miscue to push the final score to 10-5.
Throwing a seven-hitter through 5.0 innings of work to pick up the win on the mound was starter Nathan James (Rockport, Ind. / South Spencer). James struck out five in the win. Closer Andy Lowe (Fort Wayne, Ind. / Carroll) came in relief for the final two innings and preserved the win. He gave up just two hits and did not allow a run for his sixth save on the year.
Heidelberg finished the game with nine hits. Brechun was a perfect 3-for-3 with four runs batted in, four runs scored, a double and a home run. Lizcano and Decker each had two hits and Lash finished with two RBI, three walks and a hit.
In the second game, Muskingum outscored Heidelberg 6-1 over the final three innings of play to erase a three-run deficit to lead to a 12-10 victory and a split in the OAC opener for both institutions.
A five-run eighth inning by Muskies proved to be the difference maker in the game. Muskingum registered three hits, with the game-winning runs coming off a grand slam by Brock Whiteman.
Heidelberg held an 11-10 advantage in hits at the plate. Lizcano finished at 3-for-4 with three runs scored and an RBI. Knocking in three runs apiece was Gar Keen (Sparta, Ohio / Highland) and Brechun. Brechun also had two hits, both doubles.
Suffering the loss on the mound was Lowe. He threw the final 4.0 innings and gave up five hits and six runs, while striking out two.