PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - Three Heidelberg University pitchers combined on a two-hitter as the Student Princes closed out their Florida trip with a 5-1 win over Denison on a rain-soaked Tuesday.
Starter Alex Zander (Brooklyn Heights/Cuyahoga Heights) threw three innings, allowing one unearned run and no hits, but departed after a rain delay halted play for more than an hour. Adam Manner (Bellevue) relieved Zander and picked up the win. Manner threw five scoreless innings and allowed two hits and struck out seven.
Denison (0-3) scored an unearned run in the bottom of the first to take an early lead. The Student Princes committed three errors in the frame and finished with six errors for the game.
After the rain delay, Heidelberg tied up the game with a run in the fifth. In his first collegiate start, George Marsico (Wexford, PA/North Allegheny) reached on a two-out error and stole second. Joe Staab (Bellville/Clear Fork) singled to score Marsico.
In the sixth, Heidelberg took the lead with a three run inning. T.J. Harkness (Fremont/Ross) and Alex Grove (Canal Fulton/Canton Central Catholic) singled. Eric Monroe (Chagrin Falls/Kenston) was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Steve Morse (Scottsdale, AZ/Orchard Lake St. Mary's) hit an RBI single to break the tie. After a pitching change, Ben Blystone (Brownsburg, IN) drew a walk to score Grove. Arneal Squibb (Mishawaka, IN) lined into a double play for the first two outs. Jordan Martin (Powell/Olentangy Liberty) was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Monroe made the score 4-1 when he scored on a passed ball.
Manner (1-0) ran into trouble in the bottom of the eighth. A leadoff double and an error put runners on the corners with no outs. Manner used two strikeouts and a popout to get out of the jam.
In the ninth, Heidelberg (8-2) tacked on an insurance run. Marsico walked, moved to second on a bunt and to third on a passed ball. He scored on a single by pinch-hitter Derek Hug (Bryan).
Kyle Fluharty (Plymouth/Willard) retired the side in order in the ninth.
Heidelberg will board the bus to head back to Ohio with a favorable 8-2 record. Squibb leads the team offensively, hitting .410, while Harkness leads with 11 RBI.
The Student Princes used strong starting pitching, led by Chris Thomas (Canton/Perry) and Ethan Holt (Galion/West Holmes). Holt leads with a 1.29 ERA while Thomas boasts a 1.69 ERA. Both are 2-0.
The bullpen has developed well for 14-year head coach Matt Palm. Manner hasn't allowed a run in 11.2 innings and Fluharty has only allowed two unearned runs while snaring two saves. Teddy Lowe (Fort Wayne, IN/Carroll) picked up two wins out of the 'pen.
Heidelberg welcomes Manchester College to Peaceful Valley for a three-game weekend series starting Saturday. Saturday's doubleheader starts at 1 p.m. At noon on Sunday, Heidelberg baseball will dedicate Patriots Park at Peaceful Valley, a tribute to the US Armed Forces. After the ceremony, the final game in the series will begin at 1 p.m.