Etta Express sweeps Heidelberg

TIFFIN, Ohio – Marietta College solidified its first place standing in the Ohio Athletic Conference with a doubleheader sweep of Heidelberg University Saturday in Peaceful Valley. The Pioneers have a two game lead in the OAC and now stand 18-11 overall and 8-2 in conference play. The Student Princes fall to 12-16 overall and 4-6 in the OAC.

Senior Christian Herstine (5-2) struck out a career-high 15 Berg hitters in Marietta’s 7-1 win in the first game. Herstine scattered five hits, all singles, over eight innings and allowed just one unearned run. David Stover retired all three batters he faced in the ninth.

Marietta got on the board in the second inning. Connor Golden smacked a double to right field scoring Michael Barnabei and moved to third when the throw to the plate got away. Brandon Papp followed with a sac fly plating Golden.

The Pioneers made it 3-0 in the third inning after Mike Hale reached on a one-out triple. Tim McCoy lined a single to center driving in Hale.

Golden and Papp teamed up again in the fourth to extend the Pioneer lead to 4-0. Golden singled to right and came around to score when Papp tripled to the wall in left field.

Heidelberg got on the board with an unearned run in the fifth. But the Express got the run right back in the top of the sixth. Marietta tacked on a couple of insurance runs in the ninth. Papp drove in Golden with an RBI single in the sixth, while Eric White and Barnabei each plated runs with sacrifices in the ninth.

Adam Manner (3-3) started on the mound for Heidelberg and took the loss. He pitched seven innings and was charged with five runs on 10 hits. Manner struck out seven.

McCoy, Golden and Papp each finished with three hits in the game for the Pioneers. McCoy and Golden each had a double, while Papp had a triple and three RBI. Hale went 2-for-4 with a pair of runs scored and a triple.

Junior Tommy Crowl (2-3) gave Marietta its second quality start of the day in the nitecap. Crowl worked seven innings and allowed one run on eight hits in MC’s 8-4 victory. He struck out eight. Kordell Antill threw a perfect eighth inning and Stover gave up three runs on two hits in the ninth.

The Pioneers worked a little two-out magic to take an early 2-0 lead. After the first two batters of the second inning were retired, Barnabei and Papp both reached on infield singles. A wild pitch allowed both runners to move up one base and then Joe Garnder smacked a double to center field scoring both runners.

Heidelberg cut the lead in half with a run in the bottom of the fourth. Cory Jacobs hit a solo home run over the wall in left-center making it 2-1.

Two runs in the eighth and four in the ninth gave the Express an 8-1 cushion. McCoy and Tyler Packanik drove in runs in the eighth inning, while the Pioneers scored four times in the ninth on just one hit.

Packanik delivered the one hit, a two-run single to left. Chris Petrucci worked a bases loaded walk and Garnder scored on a wild pitch in the inning.

The Student Princes tried to rally in the bottom of the ninth scoring three times before Stover put the game away. Derek Hug had a two-run double and finished with three hits in the game.

Kyle Fluharty (3-5) started and was tagged with the loss. He pitched eight innings and allowed four runs on nine hits. Anthony Hajdu gave up two unearned runs in 1/3 of an inning, while Steve Huber allowed two runs on one hit in 2/3 of an inning.

Packanik had two hits and three RBI for the Pioneers. Petrucci and Barnabei also had two hits in the game and Gardner finished with two RBI and a double.

After a week on the road, the Etta Express returns home to host Capital University on Tuesday at Don Schaly Stadium. Game one is slated for a 4 p.m. first pitch