A five-run opening frame helped in John Carroll University's defeat of Heidelberg University, 13-7, in the first round of the 2014 Ohio Athletic Conference Baseball Tournament Thursday at Don Schaly Stadium.
The Blue Streaks (22-14 overall) came out with hot bats. The first three batters reached based and all later scored. Rob Cifelli was knocked in by Bobby Sabatino who was later plated by Chet Lauer. Lauer, Tyler Gentile, David Crowley all scored before the rally was stalled.
"Heidelberg is an excellent baseball team," John Carroll head coach Marc Thibeault said. "But our kids responded to the challenge and did really good job. I thought we had a really good approach at the plate today, took advantage of it and executed."
Aaron Lapaglia (8-3), who was spotted the five-run cushion, took the hill for John Carroll and picked up the win. Lapaglia went 6.2 innings allowing three runs on nine hits. He struck out six and walked a pair. Chris Thomas (7-3) was hit with the loss for Heidelberg (31-10 overall).
John Carroll padded their lead in the third inning. Back-to-back hits by Jimmy Spagna and Gentile added one run and Gentile scampered home on a wild pitch.
The Blue Streaks continued to add on in the fourth with another pair of runs. Spagna tallied his second hit of the day and a RBI. Mitchell Heringshaw later scored off a wild pitch.
Two more runs were added in the sixth for JCU to give the Blue Streaks an 11-0 lead through five and half innings.
Heidelberg ended hopes of a shut out on the home half of the sixth inning with a run. Three straight hits scored Andrew Zenczak who doubled to lead off the inning. In the seventh inning Heidelberg came alive at the plate.
A five-run seventh inning saw nine batters come to the plate, one of four hits was an Eric Monroe three-run home run to left field.
Arenal Squibb also picked up a pair of RBIs in the rally.
In the eighth frame Heidelberg looked to be putting together a two out rally, but that rally was stalled when relief pitcher Billy Turosky forced a fly ball to right field to end the threat.
John Carroll added two more runs in the ninth inning. Four Blue Streaks finished with two RBIs. Sabatino, Lauer, Gentile, and Lykens. Gentile also scored three times.
Eric Monroe, of Heidelberg, hit his second homerun of the game, a solo shot, in the bottom of the ninth to make the final margin six runs.
John Carroll is scheduled to will play top-seeded Marietta College at 11 a.m. today in the winner's bracket. Heidelberg will then face Baldwin Wallace in an elimination game at 2 p.m. Friday.