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Heidelberg Spoils Baseball's Senior Day

Photo by Stacey Conley
Photo by Stacey Conley

WILMINGTON, Ohio – The Wilmington College baseball team conclude the 2021 regular season with a pair of defeats to Heidelberg University at Tewksbury-Delaney Field on Saturday afternoon. The Student Princes won game one 14-1 in seven innings and took the nightcap 14-11.

In game one, Wilmington hurler Luke Chappie retired the Student Princes in order in the first, but the next four innings didn't pan out that way. Heidelberg scored multiple runs in each of the next four innings including three-run home runs from Mark Ochoa and Zach Doran in the third and fourth innings respectively. A five-run fifth inning from the visitors that followed ended the game in seven innings.

Brady Knizner earned the win, facing 22 batters in five innings while allowing one earned run with four strikeouts. Chappie dipped to 3-5 with the loss, allowing 10 earned runs on 10 hits in four innings with two strikeouts.

Offensively, Wilmington finished with seven hits including two from both Tyler "Johnny" Shaneyfelt and Jesse Reliford. Heidelberg had 15 hits as a team with a quintet of Student Princes – Reese McNeely, Marc Ochoa, Eric DeVore, Cayden Rollins and Deaunte Fleming – all having multi-hit games.

In game two, Heidelberg blew the game wide open with a 10-run first inning that featured four hits. Aaron Boster, the Quakers' starter, was relieved after two-thirds of an inning after walking in a run with the bases loaded. Mac Davis entered the game, walked in two more runs, and surrendered a grand slam to Keaton Mark.

It would have been easy for Wilmington to just give up trailing by such a big deficit, but as Head Coach Tony Vittorio said of the senior class in the ceremony prior to the twinbill – "One of our programs future goals would be to make these guys proud that they were the start of culture change of Wilmington baseball."

After surrendering another run in the third, the Quakers' got to work cutting the deficit with a three-run fourth inning fueled by a two-RBI triple from Jared Lammert. One inning later, the hosts batted around and more as seven different Quakers put up eight hits that scored six runs. Corbin Craft, Lammert, Joe Legin and Shaneyfelt all tallied RBI-hits in the frame. Wilmington, which trailed 11-0, had come all the way back to get the tying run on base in the fifth. A flyout ended the inning, however, and the visitors stretch their lead back to four (13-9) with a two-run sixth.

The Quakers loaded the bases in the bottom of the seventh and scored a run as Caleb Scott walked with the bases loaded, but a fielder's choice got the Student Princes out of the inning. Wilmington would plate a single unearned run in the eighth, but wouldn't get the tying run to the plate in the final innings.

Jake Hall earned the win for Heidelberg in a bullpen game, striking out three and allowing as many hits in 3.2 innings pitched. Boster took the loss while Thomas Hueber, in his final career game at Tewksbury-Delaney Field, was Wilmington's most effective pitcher, allowed two earned runs with four strikeouts in five innings of relief work. Shaneyfelt pitched the last three innings.

The Quakers outhit the Student Princes 15-11 in the game. Baumann finished 3-for-6 with a run scored, but it was the bottom of the Wilmington lineup that did the most damage. Craft finished 2-for-3 with two RBIs, three runs scored and a walk while Lammert and Legin both had multi-hit games and drove in three runs each.

Mark, the hitter of the grand slam in the first, went 3-for-4 with five RBIs, a walk and three runs scored to lead Heidelberg to victory.

Wilmington finishes its 2021 regular season with an 11-27 overall record and a 10-24 OAC mark.