TIFFIN -- Before the Heidelberg University baseball team heads back to OAC action, the squad picked up a critical 7-6 win over regional foe La Roche University on Wednesday at Peaceful Valley. The Student Princes -- down early -- scored runs in six consecutive innings to regain the lead en route to the victory.
Mason Metz earned the win out of the bullpen, throwing two innings of hitless and scoreless relief.
Down 1-0 in the bottom of the second, Heidelberg tied the game. With runners on first and third, Davis stole second. On the throw, the ball ricocheted off the glove of the second baseman, which allowed Smith to score from third.
Behind 4-2 in the fourth, The Berg crept closer. Josiah Aska flared a double down the line in right that drove in Doran.
La Roche pushed across another run off reliever Brady Knizner in the fifth to go ahead 5-3.
In the bottom of the fifth, Davis doubled to the warning track in right with one out. With two down, pinch hitter Eric Devore sent a hard bouncer through the left side to score Davis.
A two-out RBI single in the top of the sixth pushed the La Roche lead to 6-4.
Instead of scoring a single run, as it had in the previous four innings, Heidelberg responded with two in the bottom of the frame. Kane Bateman was hit by a pitch and moved to third on a single by Marc Ochoa. Smith -- batting fourth for the first time all season -- followed with a single to center that was misplayed by the center fielder. Both Bateman and Ochoa scored, knotting the game at 6.
Robert Hunt drew a seventh-inning walk and moved to third on a hard hit double down the left field line by Doran. While pinch hitter Lucas Springer batted, Hunt raced home on a wild pitch. That run would be the difference in the game.
Heidelberg head coach Chad Fitzgerald called upon closer Joey Wenning to get the final three outs. A double that was nearly caught by Hunt, a walk and a tough-hop error loaded the bases for the Redhawks with one out. Wenning cued up The Rattlin' Bog with a strike out and a fielder's choice.
Spears went 3.0 innings and allowed four runs on six hits. Knizner also threw 3.0 innings, yielding two runs on four hits. Metz (2-1) -- who, like Wenning, was working for the second day in a row -- hit one and walked one in his 2.0 innings. Wenning earned his sixth save of the season.
FOR THE OPPONENTS:
La Roche went with a whole-staff performance on the mound. Tre Thomas started, and was one of three pitchers to throw two innings. Garren Telesz (1-1) picked up the loss, working the seventh inning. Shane Roebuck and Jonathan Spina each had three hits. Spina added three RBI.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE:
Through 21 games, Heidelberg is 15-0 when collecting 10+ hits … and 0-6 when failing to do so.
Aska made his first career start.
Heidelberg returns to OAC action with a home weekend doubleheader against perennial power Otterbein University. Saturday's twinbill will start at 1 p.m.