By Steven Wright
NORTH MANCHESTER, Ind. - Sophomore Mike Hoelzel went 6-for-7 with a home run, a double, three runs scored and four RBIs to lead the Ohio Northern baseball team to a split with Manchester (Ind.) Wednesday evening at Gratz Field.
The Polar Bears won Game 2 12-0 to end a six-game losing streak after falling in Game 1 8-3.
With the split, ONU is now 13-18 on the year, while the Spartans are now 16-15.
Hoelzel sparked the Game 2 win for Northern, capping a four-run first inning with a three-run home run. He ended the second game 4-for-4 with four batted in and two runs scored.
The Polar Bears got two more runs in the top of the second to take a 6-0 advantage when junior Brett Katana doubled home sophomore Adam Yunker and junior Matt Rader.
ONU then scored three times in the fifth and sixth innings to complete the 12-0 shutout.
Freshman Eric Yunker recorded the first RBI in the fifth before brother Adam knocked in two later in the inning.
Hoelzel hit a bases-loaded single to left to begin the sixth-inning rally and bring home the first run.
Junior Greg Gibbons and freshman Mark Hayes each had an RBI in the inning as well, both on fielder's choices.
Northern used many pitchers in the combined shutout, but sophomore Justin Miller picked up the win to go to 5-3 on the season.
Freshman Ryan Damman suffered the loss in the first game, allowing six runs, although none of the runs were earned.
Like the Polar Bears did in Game 2, the Spartans jumped out to an identical 6-0 lead through the first two innings.
Manchester built the lead to 8-0 through five innings before Ohio Northern could muster two runs in the top of the sixth and one run in the top of the seventh.
Rader doubled home Hayes in the sixth then scored a batter later on a Katana single.
Hayes contributed on the run in the seventh as well, driving home Hoelzel with a single to left field.
The Polar Bears were great from the plate on the day, collecting 23 hits to just 12 for the Spartans.
Ohio Northern will host Bluffton tomorrow for one game at 4:30 pm at Wander Field.