TIFFIN – A seventh inning line drive home run to right from Alex Grove (Canal Fulton/Canton Central Catholic) gave Heidelberg University baseball their first lead of the game as the Student Princes rallied from a 6-1 deficit to defeat Trine University 11-9.
Trine drew first blood with one run in the top of the second inning and held their 1-0 advantage until the following inning when Carter Stafford dinged a home run down the left field line.
Righty Chris Thomas (Canton/Perry) earned his fifth start of the 2013 season for the Berg against the Thunder. The 6’5” junior pitched 4.2, surrendering five earned runs with two strikeouts and two walks.
Heidelberg (19-13) got on the board when Joe Staab (Bellville/Clear Fork) smacked a one out triple to right center. Junior right fielder Arneal Squibb (Mishawaka) brought Staab home on the ensuing at bat with a sacrifice fly to left field.
Stafford ripped his second home run of the day to left field in the top of the fifth to extend the Thunder lead to 3-1. Trine added two more runs in their half of the fifth to lead 5-1 heading into the Berg half of the inning.
During the three-run fifth, 14-year head coach Matt Palm went to the bullpen for his senior sidewinder, Teddy Lowe (Fort Wayne, IN/Carroll). Lowe surrendered one run in the top of the sixth to bring the Berg deficit to 6-1.
The Student Prince came back to life in their half of the sixth with four runs. Eric Monroe (Chagrin Falls/Kenston) led off the inning with a single down the left field line. With one out, left fielder Derek Hug (Bryan) singled to right field, advancing Monroe to second. Freshman center fielder T.J. Harkness (Fremont/Fremont Ross) singled to score Monroe from second and advance Hug to third. Following the Harkness RBI single, the Thunder made a pitching change in hopes of escaping the inning without further damage. The pitching change proved to be too little, too late as the Student Princes dropped another three runs on Trine to bring the score to 6-5. Jordan Martin (Powell/Olentangy Liberty) had an RBI fielder's choice and Staab hit a two-run double to left center in the frame.
With one out in the seventh, Monroe was awarded first base after being hit by a pitch from Trine reliever Jeremy Spalding. On the ensuing at-bat, Grove belted a two run home run to right field to make the score 7-6 in the Berg’s favor. Hug flied out to right field before Harkness smacked a two out double to center field. Trine made another pitching change before Andrew Zenczak (Brunswick) was hit by a pitch and awarded first base.
Martin banged an RBI single to center field, scoring Harkness and advancing Zenczak to third. After Martin stole second to get into scoring position, Stabb smacked a single to the shortstop to score Zenczak and advance Martin. With Arneal Squibb (Mishawaka, IN) at the plate, Staab stole second base to put runners on second and third again. Squibb slapped a two-out, two-run single to center field to push the lead to 11-6.
In the frame, Heidelberg batted around and scored six times on five hits.
In the eighth, senior Danny Kilger (Novi, MI) allowed an unearned and was relieved by sophomore Ryan Minteer (Venetia, PA/Peters Township). In his first relief outing of the season, Minteer pitched the final 1.1 innings to earn his first career save.
Kilger picked up the first win of his career by going 1.2 innings, allowing one unearned run without giving up a hit.
Staab finished the day a perfect three-for-three with three RBIs, two runs and a stolen base.
Heidelberg returns to action on Wednesday. They travel to Ohio Wesleyan for a single nine-inning game, slated for a 4 p.m. start.