ADRIAN, Michigan -- The Heidelberg University baseball team marched on to Championship Sunday with a 2-1 victory over top-seeded Denison University in game four of the Adrian Regional Tournament. In a well-played game all around, the Student Princes held on for the nail-biting victory.
Heidelberg, the No. 2 seed, will play the winner of Saturday night's contest between No. 3 seed Adrian College and Denison. In the double-elimination format, Heidelberg (32-13) has two chances to win a game that would seal the tournament win. The winner of the regional faces the winner of the Wooster Regional in a three-game super-regional next weekend at a site to be determined.
Kane Bateman led off the game with a double into the left field corner. Two wild pitches by Big Red starter Taylor Perrett allowed Bateman to score the game's first run.
Starter Trevor Adkins, who had faced the minimum through three, ran into a bit of trouble in the fourth. A leadoff walk and a one-out double put runners on second and third. Will Krushena smashed a one-hopper to Parker Fronk at first. Fronk gloved it, took it to the base himself, then noticed the Big Red base runners had bunched up near third. As Max Lahn broke for home, Fronk threw to catcher Marc Ochoa, who quickly fired back to Kyle Jenkins at third, who applied the tag to complete the unconventional double play.
For Denison, ranked No. 13 in the latest D3baseball.com poll, Perrett (5-2) worked five full innings, allowing two runs on five hits. Mikey Rivera entered in the sixth and departed with two on. Henry Haack cleaned up the threat as Heidelberg stranded two in the top of the inning.
As they did in the fourth, Denison (39-8) used a one-out double to put runners on second and third with one out. Adkins was equal to the task, however, wriggling off the hook with a ground out and a strike out.
Walks to start the bottom of the eighth, followed by a wild pitch, put runners on second and third for Denison, yet again. Brady Knizner, who relieved Adkins after the opening walk of the inning, struck out Ty Robinson for the first out. Krushena followed with an RBI ground out that pushed Lahn across with the first run of the day for the Big Red. Brian McAuliffe, who entered with a team-high 10 home runs on the season, ended the inning with a high fly out to Bateman in right.
Adkins (7-4) went 7+ innings, allowing one run on seven hits. He struck out five. Knizner logged an inning of work.
In the ninth, Joey Wenning picked up his 10th save of the season. Wenning worked a 1-2-3 inning, capped by a sliding catch in right by Bateman
Each team rapped seven hits and stranded seven runners.
Five of Heidelberg's hits were doubles -- two by Bateman and Devore, one by Doran.
Denison had not lost to an OAC team since the 2016 season -- a span of 25 games.
Championship Sunday begins at noon, with the if-necessary game to follow.