TIFFIN - With a light snow falling at Peaceful Valley, Heidelberg University starter Chris Thomas (Canton/Perry) was warm. Thomas threw 8.1 innings, allowing just one unearned run on four hits in a 2-1 victory over #21 Manchester University on Saturday.
Thomas exited the game in the ninth with two on and one out in a tie game. In relief, Adam Manner (Bellevue) got a fielder's choice and a line out to end the threat.
In the ninth, with the Heidelberg faithful hoping for a run, the Student Princes delivered. Joe Chiarappa reached second on a dropped pop-up to start the inning. Jordan Martin (Powell/Olentangy Liberty) reached on a bunt single. After a groundout, Joe Staab (Bellville/Clear Fork) singled to center to score Chiarappa.
The hit was Staab's third of the game. The junior had both Heidelberg RBIs.
"Joe's been big for us this year," said 14-year head coach Matt Palm. "He had two really good at bats which led to two more clutch hits for us. "
Manchester pitching was just as effective at Thomas. Starter Dylan Padgett allowed one run in 6.2 innings. He was relieved by Bryce Murphy (1-1), who gave up the unearned run in the ninth.
Murphy, who started in right field, was the only Spartan to record multiple hits.
The story, though, was Thomas.
"It's unfortunate that Chris couldn't pick up the win," said Palm. "This is his third straight quality start. He looked very good, especially on such a cold day."
Heidelberg (9-2) and Manchester (8-1) will play a doubleheader on Sunday. Prior to the 1 p.m. game, Heidelberg baseball will dedicate Patriots Park, a memorial honoring the United States Armed Forces. The ceremony will begin at noon.