TIFFIN, Ohio—The Heidelberg University baseball team clinched a berth in the upcoming 2012 Ohio Athletic Conference Baseball Tournament with a doubleheader sweep of Capital University today at Peaceful Valley in Tiffin, Ohio. The Student Princes won the first game, 6-1, and took the nightcap, 4-2.
Playing in their final home games as collegians, seniors Daniel Brannum (Jamestown/Greeneview), Ricardo Lizcano (Toledo/Start), Sly Nino (Willard), Ross Pruitt (Elletsville, Ind./Edgewood) and Elvin Williams (Euclid) were honored after the second game for their contributions to the program.
Heidelberg (25-15, 11-7 OAC) took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning on a run batted-in single by Lizcano. A single and a walk by freshman first baseman Eric Monroe (Chagrin Falls/Kenston) and Williams loaded the bases for freshman third baseman Steve Kisan (Lakewood/St. Edward). Kisan lofted a fly ball into right field, but Andy Grillo threw out Lizcano trying to tag up from third base to end the threat.
The Student Princes added another run in the second before the Crusaders (15-22, 4-13 OAC) cut the deficit in half on a RBI single by Patrick Jackson in the third.
Heidelberg extended its lead to 5-1 on a sacrifice fly by Kisan in the bottom half of the third, a RBI fielder’s choice by Pruitt in the fourth, and another sacrifice fly by junior catcher Jordan Martin (Powell/Olentangy Liberty) in the fifth.
In the sixth, a sacrifice fly by Williams tacked on an insurance run to cement the victory.
Lizcano went 2-for-3 with one RBI and two runs in game one. Martin was 2-for-2 with one RBI and one run and Monroe was 3-for-4.
Freshman right-hander Ryan Minteer (Venetia, Pa./Peters Township) went the distance for the second straight outing, scattering four hits and striking out three, and improved to 4-2.
Robert Fravel started for Capital, but lasted just 2.1 innings and allowed three runs (two earned) on five hits and suffered the loss to fall to 3-2. Jeremy Finchum also allowed three runs (two earned) on six hits in 3.2 innings of relief.
In the second game, a RBI groundout by Williams in the first got the Berg off to a 1-0 lead.
A sacrifice fly by Bryan Wyer and a RBI double by Taylor Bransiel in the second gave Capital its first lead of the day, but the Student Princes countered in the bottom half of the frame with a run-scoring double by sophomore shortstop Ben Blystone (Brownsburg, Ind./Brownsburg) and a two-run single by Pruitt to regain a 4-2 edge.
In the seventh, sophomore right-hander Chris Thomas (Canton/Perry), in a jam with two runners in scoring position and one out, worked out of the inning with an unusual pickoff attempt to second base. Sophomore shortstop Andrew Zenczak (Brunswick) chased the runner to third base, forcing home the runner on third, where Martin recorded the out.
Pruitt led the ‘Berg attack in game two by going 3-for-4 with a run scored. Blystone was 2-for-4 with a run.
Junior righty Tyler Fruhwirth (Beavercreek) started the second game for Heidelberg and allowed two runs on three hits before being relieved after 1.2 innings. Junior right-hander Teddy Lowe (Fort Wayne, Ind./Carroll) allowed two hits over 1.1 innings of relief. Thomas worked 4.0 innings without allowing a run and earned the win to improve to 4-4. Nino came on for the eighth and Brannum worked the ninth and earned his second save of the season.
Bransiel was 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles and Anthony Calabrese was 2-for-4 with a run.
Garrett Griffin allowed all four runs on seven hits over 1.2 innings for Capital and took the loss to fall to 3-5. Anthony Klamic allowed three hits in 6.1 innings of relief.
Heidelberg will play Thursday in the first day of the 2012 OAC Baseball Tournament, which will run from Thursday to Saturday.