TIFFIN, Ohio—The Heidelberg University baseball team, winners of five of their last eight games, will host No. 11 (D3baseball.com) Adrian (Mich.) College on Tuesday, March 27 in a non-conference game at Peaceful Valley in Tiffin, Ohio. The first pitch is slated for 4 p.m.
The Berg (10-8) took two of three games from Case Western Reserve University, winning 14-7 and 7-2 in a Saturday doubleheader in Tiffin, but fell, 9-4, yesterday in University Circle. Senior centerfielder Elvin Williams (Euclid) paced the offense during the series, rapping out seven hits—including a triple—while driving in three and scoring four runs. Senior shortstop Ricardo Lizcano (Toledo/Start) also pounded out seven safeties, including three doubles and two triples, knocked in three runs and scored four while slugging 1.000. Sophomore second baseman Joe Chiarappa (Clinton/St. Vincent-St. Mary’s) went 5-for-13 in the series with three doubles and seven RBI.
Sophomore right hander Chris Thomas (Canton/Perry) highlighted the pitching by allowing just one run (unearned) and scattering five hits over 6.0 innings and earned the win. Although he allowed 12 hits against Case, junior righty Tyler Fruhwirth (Beavercreek) was effective enough to surrender just four runs over 7.0 innings and also took a win.
Adrian (8-3, 1-1 Michigan Intercollege Athletic Conference) has won three of its last five contests following a doubleheader split Saturday with conference rival Hope (Mich.) College, dropping a 3-2 decision in the first game, but came back to take the second by a 4-1 tally. Sam Fischer finished the day 3-for-9 with a double and a RBI, while Garrett Green was 3-for-7 with two runs scored and Kyle Strawn hit a home run.
Six Student Prince regulars are batting better than .300, led by senior leftfielder/left handed pitcher Ross Pruitt (Elletsville, Ind./Carroll), who is fourth in the Ohio Athletic Conference with a .429 (27-for-63) batting average and tied for fifth with Lizcano with 16 RBI, and has scored 13 runs. Freshman infielder Trevor Oldham (Akron/Archbishop Hoban) is eighth in the OAC, batting .406 (13-for-32), and leads the circuit with a .568 on-base percentage. Lizcano is hitting .371 (26-for-70) with a team-high 11 extra-base hits, including two homers, is tied for sixth in the league with 17 runs, and has a team-high on-base-plus-slugging percentage of 1.092. Chiarappa is pacing at .326 (15-for-46) with 11 RBI, 10 runs and is ninth in the OAC with a .565 slugging percentage. As a team, the Berg is hitting .297.
Lizcano enters this week, which included the OAC opener Saturday against Wilmington College needing three triples and four home runs to break Heidelberg career marks. Lizcano is also 65 hits, 39 runs, 53 RBI and 42 total bases shy of the school record.
Fruhwirth has anchored the starting rotation with a 3-1 record in five appearances (four starts) and is tied with senior righty Daniel Brannum (Jamestown/Greeneview) for ninth in the league with 19 strikeouts. He has a 4.75 earned run average in 30.1 innings and one complete game to his credit. Thomas is 1-2 in five appearances (four starts) with 15 strikeouts and a 5.33 ERA in 27.0 innings. Fruhwirth and Thomas rank second and third, respectively, in the OAC in innings pitched. Junior righty Teddy Lowe (Fort Wayne, Ind./Carroll) leads the bullpen with a 3-2 record with one save in a team-high 12 appearances with 11 strikeouts and a 5.79 ERA over 18.2 innings. Brannum has seen action in nine games and is 2-0 with one save and a 4.00 ERA over 18.0 innings. As a staff, Heidelberg has a 5.38 ERA.
Four Bulldog regulars are hitting above .340, led by Fischer, who is tearing at .395 (17-for-43) with 13 RBI, 11 runs, one home run and a 1.136 OPS. Mitch Stefanski is batting .381 (14-for-39) with 14 RBI, 10 runs, one homer and a 1.037 OPS. Green is hitting .351 (13-for-37) with 10 RBI, 13 runs and one home run. Strawn is pacing at .342 (13-for-38) with 14 runs and one round tripper.
Staff ace Jason Fryman is 3-1 in four starts with a team-high 25 strikeouts and a 1.61 ERA over a team-high 28.0 innings pitched. He has also hurled two complete games and is holding opposing hitters to a .204 average. Rylie Robinson is 2-1 in four appearances (three starts), with 20 strikeouts and a 1.57 ERA in 23.0 innings and has also thrown a complete game. Adrian utilizes a bullpen by committee.
Head coach Matt Palm, in his 12th season in Tiffin, is 391-167 (.701) in 558 career games and is looking for nine more victories to become just the fifth coach in OAC history with 400 career wins, behind only the legendary Don Schaly of Marietta College (1,442), Bob Fisher of Baldwin-Wallace College (700), Dick Fishbaugh of Otterbein University, and Herb Strayer of Ohio Northern University (592).
Following Wednesday’s game with Adrian, the Berg will open OAC play Saturday, March 31 with a doubleheader against Wilmington College in Tiffin.