March 11, 2011

Matt Palm Reaches 350 Wins with #1 Heidelberg

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Fort Myers, Fla. – March 11, 2011 – The no. 1 ranked Heidelberg University baseball team extended its season opening win streak to five games following a 9-1 victory over Kenyon College at the Gene Cusic Classic in Fort Myers, Fla. Kenyon falls to 3-6 with the setback.

The victory marked the 350th for Heidelberg head coach Matt Palm, who is in his 12th year at the helm. He currently boasts a career coaching record of 350-145-2 for a .705 winning percentage. He has guided the Berg to at least 23 wins every year, eclipsing the 30-win plateau on six occasions and has topped 40 wins twice in the previous three years. Prior to Palm taking over, the program owned just a .387 winning percentage.

Palm became the college's career wins leader in 2002 and reached the 100-win mark midway through the 2003 season. In 2007, he reached the 200-win plateau during Heidelberg's annual trip south and he eclipsed 250 wins in 2008. He continued to add to his career win total in 2009, topping 300 during the Ohio Athletic Conference Tournament.

Kenyon got on the board in the first with an unearned run off a RBI single by Mike Danziger. Heidelberg responded with four runs off of five hits in the bottom half of the inning and never looked back. Heidelberg went on to score a run in each of the next three innings before being held scoreless in the fifth. The Berg closed out its scoring with two runs in the sixth.

Highlighting its first at bat was RBI extra base hits by Gar Keen (Sparta, Ohio / Highland) and Alex Monroe (Chagrin Falls, Ohio / Kenston). Keen connected for a double to right center field and three batters later Monroe went the opposite way for a triple.

Heidelberg's defense turned three double plays to help back up freshman Zach O'Driscoll (Hudson, Ohio / Walsh Jesuit) on the mound. In his first collegiate start O'Driscoll gave up six hits in six innings of work, while striking out one and walking one. He did not allow an earned run. Coming out of the bullpen to throw the final three innings was Tyler Fruhwirth (Beavercreek, Ohio / Beavercreek), Ross Pruitt (Ellestsville, Ind. / Edgewood) and Teddy Lowe (Fort Wayne, Ind. / Carroll). The trio combined to give up three hits and strike out five. Pruitt and Lowe each had two strike outs.

At the plate the Berg finished with 12 hits. Lash went 3-for-4 with two doubles, two RBI and two runs scored. Elvin Williams Jr. (Euclid, Ohio / Euclid) went 3-for-5 with a run scored. Finishing with two hits apiece was Monroe and Derek Andrzejczak (Sylvania, Ohio / Sylvania Northview). Andrzejczak, Keen and Willie Brechun (Canton, Ohio / Canton Central Catholic) shared team honors with Lash with two runs batted in apiece.

Heidelberg returns to action tomorrow when it takes on Rhodes College at 2:00 p.m.

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