BEXLEY -- The Heidelberg University baseball team knew the deal -- a sweep on the final day of the conference slate would yield an OAC title. With a pair of 15-2 victories over host Capital University, the Student Princes did just that. For the first time since 2015, the Student Princes won the conference regular season are are headed back to the conference tournament.
Co-champion Baldwin Wallace will host the four-team tournament, set to begin on Thursday. BW, which earned the right to host because of tie-breakers, will serve as the No. 1 seed and will meet No. 4 Otterbein. Heidelberg, the No. 2 seed, will square off with No. 3 seed Ohio Northern.
In the sweep, Heidelberg pounded out a combined 41 hits.
GAME ONE: Heidelberg 15 Capital 2
Heidelberg stranded two runners in a scoreless first inning -- the only frame of the game in which they did not score a run.
Eric Devore had a one-out single in the second, then moved to second on a single by Zach Doran. With two outs, Kane Bateman drove in Devore with a single to left center. A defensive miscue allowed Doran to score on the play.
Heidelberg added two more in the fourth. Robert Hunt singled and moved to third on a double by Bateman. Psychas plated the pair with a double to right center.
After plating a run on a Doran sacrifice fly in the fifth, the Tricolor scored three in the sixth. Parker Fronk drove in Psychas with a single to center before Devore pushed two across with a double to center.
Kyle Jenkins picked up an RBI on a ground out that scored Bateman.
While the offense hummed, starter Trevor Adkins (5-4) was dynamite. In six scoreless innings, the lefty allowed a mere two hits. He struck out seven and did not allow a walk.
The Crusaders, scratched two runs across in the seventh off of reliever Alec Zoeller. The Student Princes, however, would respond immediately. Hunt drove in Devore and Bateman plated Doran in the top of the eighth.
Fronk capped the game with a two-run home run to right in the ninth. Trey Ickes threw a scoreless frame to close out the game one win.
GAME TWO: Heidelberg 15 Capital 2
A win away from a trophy, The Berg wasted little time taking control. Bateman started the game with a double off the top of the wall in right. After Kyle Jenkins singled, Bateman scored on an RBI fielder's choice. Ochoa followed with a single up the middle that drove in another.
Capital, playing on their senior day, cut the lead in half with a run off of starter Alex Sir Louis in the bottom of the first.
The second inning was fun. Devore reached on an error and moved to second on a one-out single by Hunt. Bateman loaded the bases with a single through the left side. Jenkins reached on an error by the left fielder, which allowed Devore to score. Psychas lifted a sacrifice fly to left center, scoring Hunt. Ochoa doubled down the left field line, driving in Bateman. Following a walk by Fronk, Tyler Smith singled to right -- driving in Jenkins. Devore drove in two more with a bouncer up the middle. Hunt closed the scoring, driving in two more with a single. In all, Heidelberg scored eight times on seven hits -- and led 10-1.
Teams traded runs in the fourth before HU added two in the fifth. Fronk doubled to left center, scoring Psychas. Jake Davis drove in Fronk with a sacrifice fly.
Smith drew a bases loaded walk in the sixth that drove in the 14th run of the game.
Ochoa closed the scoring with a triple to deep right that scored Psychas.
In the bottom of the ninth, Capital's Connor Richardson hit a groundout to Fronk at first. With Wenning covering the bag, the out touched off the celebration for the Student Princes.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE:
Each Heidelberg starter had at least three hits on the day. Ochoa and Psychas had seven, Devore had six, Hunt had five.
Devore drove in five runs while Ochoa, Psychas and Fronk all drove in four runs.
Since 2003, Heidelberg has won the OAC regular season seven times.
Heidelberg will be the home team on the first day of the OAC Tournament. Ohio Northern, which drastically turned around its season after being swept in Peaceful Valley in March, will be the visitors. Weather permitting, two games will be played on Thursday, three on Friday and the champions will be crowned on Saturday.
Three-Day Pass - $18.00 (Adult); $12.00 (Senior 62 & Older); $7.00 (Non-OAC Student, 18 & Under)
Single Day (Thursday or Friday) – $12.00 (Adult); $8.00 (Senior 62 & Older); $5.00 (Non-OAC Student)
Championship Day – (Saturday) – $8.00 (Adult); $6.00 Senior (62 & Older); $3.00 (Non-OAC Student)
OAC Students are free with valid school ID.