Etta Express splits a pair with Heidelberg

TIFFIN – The No. 6 ranked Marietta College Pioneers split an Ohio Athletic Conference baseball doubleheader at Heidelberg University Monday afternoon. The Student Princes won the first game 6-2, while the Pioneers took game two by the score of 11-6.

Marietta moves to 18-7 on the season and 8-2 in the OAC. Heidelberg is now 15-12 overall and 4-6 in conference play.

Heidelberg jumped on top with two runs in the bottom of the second inning. Alex Grove and Derek Hug led off with back-to-back singles and moved into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt by Ben Blystone.

Andrew Zenczak plated Grove with a ground out to second base. Jordan Martin made it 2-0 with a single to left scoring Hug.

Heidelberg senior Ethan Holt (3-1) kept the Pioneers off balance all day long en route to the win. Holt threw 6.0 innings and allowed two runs on six hits. He walked four and struck out five.

Marietta cut the lead in half with a run in the fourth. Freshman Tim McCoy (Willoughby/St. Ignatius) reached on a two-out walk and moved to second on a wild pitch. Bryan Gregorich (Chardon/Chardon) hit a ball in the hole at shortstop that was knocked down by Zenczak to keep McCoy from scoring.

Sophomore Christian Demko (Xenia/Bellbrook) followed with a single through the right side of the infield scoring McCoy.

Heidelberg added a run in the fourth and fifth and two more in the sixth to lead 6-1 heading into the Pioneers’ final at bat.

Freshman Jason Byers (East Granby, Conn./East Granby) (3-2) started and took the loss. Byers worked 5.2 innings and surrendered six runs on 11 base hits. He walked one and had four strikeouts. Freshman Christian Herstine (Beaver, Pa./Beaver Area) made his collegiate debut and retired the only batter he faced.

Sophomore Chris Winpigler (Frederick, Md./Tuscarora) pinch-hit to start the seventh and reached on a single to left. Zach Bukiewicz (Minford/Lucasville Valley) pinch ran for Winpigler and would eventually score on a sac fly from Aaron Hopper (Wheelersburg/Wheelersburg).

The Pioneers loaded the bases in the seventh forcing the Student Princes to go to the bullpen. Freshman Ben Sniezak got Heidelberg out of the seventh to earn his third save of the season.

Marietta scored three runs in the second and three more in the third of game two for an early 6-2 lead.

Catcher Alex Toth (Painesville/Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin) led off the second with a double and designated hitter Josh Ungerbuehler (Cincinnati/Roger Bacon) was hit by a pitch. McCoy followed with an RBI single scoring Toth and moving Ungerbuehler to second.

Gregorich laid down the sac bunt moving the runners up 90 feet. Demko stepped to the plate and laced a single up the middle that scored both Ungerbuehler and McCoy.

Ungerbuehler delivered the big hit in the third inning with a line drive that cleared the leftfield wall for a two-run home run. It was Ungerbuehler’s third home run of the season.

The Pioneers added two more runs in the fifth chasing Heidelberg starter Tyler Fruhwirth from the game. Fruhwirth (2-4) went 4.1 innings and allowed eight runs on six hits with four walks and a strikeout in the losing effort.

Heidelberg got on the board with two runs in the second and then sent nine hitters to the plate in the fifth scoring four more and cutting the Pioneers lead to 8-6. Eric Monroe delivered a two-run double, while Grove smacked a two-run single.

Toth delivered a two-run double into the right field corner in the top of the sixth extending the Pioneer lead back to four, 10-6. Grilliot made it a five run lead with a run-scoring triple in the seventh.

Senior Mike Mulvey (Glenshaw, Pa./North Catholic) (4-2) picked up the compete-game victory. Mulvey allowed seven runs on 11 base hits. He walked one and had seven strikeouts.

Toth finished 2-for-3 with two doubles and three runs batted in to lead the Pioneers. Hopper and Demko also collected two hits apiece in the nightcap.

Marietta hosts Otterbein University today at Don Schaly Stadium. First pitch for the OAC doubleheader is set for 4 p.m.