TIFFIN – The roller coaster season for the Heidelberg University baseball team took a rough turn on Monday as they were upset in a non-conference contest by Albion. The Student Princes had to rally from a five-run deficit in the middle innings, tying the game in the eighth, but the visiting Britons scored once in the 9th and held on to knock off the 7th-ranked Student Princes.
In his first start of the season, Jordan Watson paid for the early free bases he allowed. The sophomore allowed just one run in the first inning, but it was a three-run home run, as the two base-runners that scored reached base on a walk and a hit-by-pitch.
Heidelberg (27-8) responded right away, however, as they have dealt with early deficits in many games this season. After T.J. Harkness opened the inning with a single and advanced to third on a failed pickoff attempt, Doug Miller drove him home with an RBI single up the middle. Christian Verdeplated the second run of the inning, drilling an RBI single to left with two outs to make the score 3-2.
After the high-scoring first inning, both starting pitchers settled in. Both Albion and Heidelberg went scoreless from the second through the fifth inning as the Britons clung to a one-run lead.
Albion (18-18) was able to get to Watson again in the sixth inning, scoring four runs to extend their lead. Ben Sniezek was called on to relieve Watson and was able to get out of the jam with the score 7-2 in favor of the Britons.
The Student Princes answered quickly to lead off the bottom of the frame when Steven Morse hit a solo homer to right. Later in the inning, Harkness picked up an RBI on a two-out double down the right field line to cut the deficit to three.
Sniezek settled in well and threw two straight scoreless innings, but Heidelberg came to bat in the bottom of the eighth still trailing 7-4.
The Berg rallied for three runs to tie the game, with a two-run single by Miller and a run scored off an error bringing the score to 7-7 going to the ninth.
After retiring the leadoff batter in the 9th, Sniezek issued a walk and was relieved by Nick Reiter. The junior lefty was unable to hold the runner on base, however, as Albion brought him around on an RBI single to take a one run lead to the bottom of the ninth.
The Student Princes did not have a comeback in them on this day, as they were retired in order, falling by a final score of 8-7.
Sniezek (2-2) took the loss despite allowing just one hit and one walk in his 2.2 innings of relief.
Miller had another solid day at the plate, going 3-for-4 with three runs driven in to lead the Heidelberg offense on a day where their bats struggled to get going.
Heidelberg will be on the road on Wednesday, April 29th, to take on Denison. That non-conference contest is scheduled to begin at 6:00 p.m. in Granville.