Marietta, Ohio – May 20, 2010 – Senior Steve Decker (Maumee, Ohio / Springfield)had a walk off RBI single down the left field line to lead the nationally ranked Heidelberg University baseball team to a 9-8 victory over Adrian College in the Mideast Regional of the 2010 Baseball Championships. Marietta College is the host institution of the seven-team regional at Don Schaly Stadium in Marietta, Ohio.
Given a second shot courtesy of a dropped foul ball, Decker came through for his team. The Student Princes catcher ripped a Nick Sarkissian offering down the left-field line, driving home Derek Andrzejczak (Sylvania, Ohio / Sylvania Northview) with the winning run in the bottom of the ninth. Setting up the walk off single by Decker was a bases clearing double to center field by Alex Monroe (Chagrin Falls, Ohio / Kenston) in the eighth inning.
First pitch of the contest was thrown last night at 10:15, but heavy fog caused the game to be suspended in the top of the third with Heidelberg holding a 4-1 lead.
When the game resumed, Adrian got off to a quick start after taking advantage of two Heidelberg miscues. The Bulldogs plated an unearned run off a throwing error before Brian Billius had a RBI single through the left side to cut into Heidelberg’s lead, 4-3.
Adrian went on to take the lead in the fifth with two runs off of two hits. The Berg responded with a run in the bottom half of the inning. A RBI single by Gar Keen (Sparta, Ohio / Highland) cut Adrian’s lead to one, 6-5.
After a scoreless seventh on both sides, Adrian got two runs in the top half the eighth, but the Berg hitters went to work in the eighth to lead to Monroe’s three-run double.
Decker and the Berg kept battling late in the contest despite its deficit. "We needed a little spark,” said Decker. “We knew we were just one hit away from putting up some runs. Anyone at the plate could get the job done. Big time hit by Alex (Monroe)."
Freshman Ethan Holt (Galion, Ohio / West Holmes) got the no decision on the mound, going 4.1 innings. He allowed seven hits, five runs, three earned runs, while striking out one. Junior Andy Lowe (Fort Wayne, Ind. / Carroll) threw 4.2 innings in relief and picked up the win to improve to 4-1 on the year. Lowe gave up just four hits and one earned run, striking out five in the process.
At the plate, Heidelberg’s hitters registered 15 hits compared to 11 by the Bulldogs. Monroe went 3-for-4 with three runs batted in, one run scored and a double. Decker backed Monroe with a 3-for-5 outing with three RBI, a run scored and a walk. Also finishing with multiple hits was Keen, Jason Lash (Strongsville, Ohio / Strongsville)and Andrzejczak.
The win for the Berg is its 15h straight dating back to April 17 when they topped Marietta. Overall Heidelberg is 38-6 and will face Penn State University-Behrend tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. Adrian falls to 30-12 and will play later today in an elimination game.
Heidelberg 11th-year head coach Matt Palm was full of praise for the solid at bats and Decker stepping up down the stretch. "I think it starts with Steve (Decker) being a tremendous leader and his work ethic,” said Palm. “He's had a great year. Guys look to the leader. There's no one else I want up in that situation. He kept battling and battling.”
"It was a rollercoaster game,” said Decker.” With the delay and they put up a few runs, we knew we weren't going to roll. To end it in the bottom of ninth … there's no better way."