Baseball sweeps Heidelberg in pair of exciting finishes

Baseball sweeps Heidelberg in pair of exciting finishes

By Tim Glon

ADA — The Ohio Northern baseball team swept an Ohio Athletic Conference double header from Heidelberg on a wet and windy Saturday afternoon at Wander Field.

The Polar Bears (6-11 overall, 5-8 OAC) won the opener 10-9 with a run in the bottom of the seventh and took the nightcap 4-2 in a rain-shortened game that had its own late-inning drama.

The Student Princes fall to 10-8, 7-7.

Northern led the first game 9-3 entering the seventh inning and appeared on cruise control, having allowed only one HU runner to second base since the second inning.

But Heidelberg used a grand slam and batted around in the top of the seventh to tie the game at 9-9.

Northern responded in the home half of the frame when junior Sam Zeleznik (Hinckley/Highland) led off the inning with a walk and eventually scored on a ground ball by junior Andy Mills (Cincinnati/St. Xavier).

Senior Devin Johnson (Wooster) came on and did not give up a hit in two innings of shutout relief to pick up the save for ONU.

In Game 2, Northern led 4-2 when the game was delayed 1 hour and 48 minute due to rain.

When play resumed, a light rain began to fall that made the field less and less playable as the game progressed.

HU plated four runs in the top of the ninth and led 6-4 with two out when a heavy pocket of rain came in and washed the game out, making the field completely unplayable.

By NCAA rule, the game reverts back to the last completed inning, giving Ohio Northern a 4-2 victory.

Freshman Hayden Heche (Fort Wayne, Ind./Northrop) threw two innings of scoreless relief to earn his first collegiate victory and sophomore Tim Knapschaefer (Maria Stein/Marion Local) was officially credited with three scoreless innings to record his first save of the year.

Senior Michael Rocco (Davenport, Fla./Zionsville (Ind.)) was 5-for-8 with three runs scored and 2 RBI on the day to lead the ONU offense, which out-hit HU 24-21 on the day.

The two teams will wrap up their 4-game series with a double header in Tiffin on Sunday beginning at 9:30 a.m.