By Steven Wright
ADA - Sophomore Mike Hoelzel got the Ohio Northern baseball team on the board with a solo home run in the third and then knocked in the go-ahead run in the eighth to help the Polar Bears beat Defiance 6-5 at Wander Field.
ONU moved above .500 with a 10-9 record while the Yellow Jackets are now 4-17.
Senior Brian Hill picked up the win in relief to push his record to 4-2, while sophomore Justin Miller recorded his first save of the season by pitching the ninth inning.
Ethan Salsbury was the losing pitcher and is now 0-2 on the year.
Down 3-0 in the bottom of the third, Hoelzel hit his first home run of the season to right center field to get the Polar Bears on the board.
After a scoreless fourth inning, the Yellow Jackets got another one on the board to take a 4-1advantage.
The Polar Bears responded with two in the bottom half of the inning. Sophomore Erik Stegman led off the inning with a four-pitch walk before junior Loren Fleischman singled through the left side.
Junior Brandon Aselage then laid down a perfect pinch-hit sacrifice bunt to advance both runners.
After a Northern strikeout, sophomore Adam Yunker began the two-out rally with an RBI single to left field, scoring Stegman.
Junior Greg Gibbons then had a pinch-hit infield single that scored Fleischman to conclude Northern's scoring in the fifth.
In the top of the sixth, the Yellow Jackets filled the bases with two-outs, but Hill came up with a huge full count strikeout to get ONU out of the jam.
Junior Brett Katana tied the game at 4-4 in the bottom of the seventh with a single up the middle that scored Yunker.
Hoelzel then brought home the go-ahead run in the bottom of the eighth inning with an RBI single to the shortstop that scored Matt Rader from third.
The Polar Bears got a much needed insurance run later in the inning when Defiance had an error on a relay to home plate from the outfield that allowed Fleischman to score and gave ONU a 6-4 lead heading to the ninth.
Miller came in to work the final inning and started quickly by striking out the first two batters.
DC made another comeback effort and scored one run, but ONU was able to get the last out and preserve the 6-5 victory.
Ohio Northern will resume Ohio Athletic Conference play on Saturday with a home doubleheader against Baldwin-Wallace at 1 pm.