Heidelberg hits Case Western Reserve
Holt's seven strikeouts vs. Spartans a season-high
MARIETTA, Ohio — What may look like overconfidence is really just a Heidelberg baseball team having fun.
On Thursday afternoon centerfielder Andrew Buelow was having the time of his life as his three hits and two RBIs keyed the Student Princes (35-11) to an 8-1 victory against Case Western Reserve (31-14) in a winner's bracket game of the NCAA Division III Mideast Regional at Don Schaly Stadium.
"We're just having fun out there … that's the thing with us," said Buelow, who also scored a run. "When we play this well, we feel we can compete with anyone across the diamond from us."
Heidelberg is 2-0 and faces the winner of Marietta-Franklin at noon, Friday.
"Any time you pitch well, play great defense and hit, you have to like your chances," said Heidelberg coach Matt Palm. "We play such good defense that sometimes I think it goes unnoticed how important it is."
Heidelberg built an early 3-0 lead. Elvin Williams Jr. hit a double to left center to plate Buelow for the first score of the game. With two on, Ricardo Lizcano completed a successful hit and run to score Williams. Then, Willie Brechun (1-for-2, two RBIs and two runs) executed a sacrifice fly to center field to knock in Gar Keen.
Heidelberg's pitching also proved to be another strong suit as Ethan Holt struck out a season-high seven to improve to 9-2.
After the Student Princes got out to the early lead in the third, CWR threatened in the bottom of the inning. The Spartans opened the frame with three consecutive hits, including a leadoff home run to left field by Jimmy Abed to get on the scoreboard. However, that one run is the only scoring that CWR could muster.
"He was able to minimize the damage and only gave up one run," Palm said. "Ethan gave us a great opportunity to win today."
Holt only allowed four hits, but walked six as he pitched out of some early trouble.
"I was struggling to find the zone early, but I made some pitches to get out of trouble," said Holt, who was pulled after throwing 126 pitches over eight innings. "We are where we want to be right now and we have a lot of confidence going into this third game, no matter who we play."
Heidelberg went back to work in the fourth and scored two runs, one courtesy of a Spartan miscue. With runners on the corners Buelow had an RBI single to shortstop to start the scoring. Heidelberg’s hitters would go on to load the bases. Derek Andrzejczak would score the second run following a throwing error by center fielder Matt Richards.
"Heidelberg is a good team and we knew going in it would be a tough game," said Case Western Reserve coach Matt Englander. "However, we feel if we got another shot at them we could win."
Englander must now get his players ready for a second game as CWRU (31-14) plays the loser of Marietta-Franklin.
"We have tough guys and they'll be ready to come back," Englander said.
The Spartans went through four pitchers and each one had a rough stretch or two. Starter Devin Dye (4-2) gave up four hits and three runs in three innings for the loss.
Buelow extended the lead to 6-1 in the sixth after drawing a bases-loaded walk. The Student Princes added two insurance runs to secure the victory. Brechun homered to left center in the seventh and Lizcano hit a sac fly to right field in the eighth.
CWRU's Matt Keen went 2-for-5, while Abed added the homer in the third inning.
While Buelow was the Student Princes' leading hitter for the game, Williams went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a walk, Alex Monroe went 3-for-5 and Lizcano had a hit and two RBIs.