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BW Baseball Knocks Heidelberg out of OAC Tournament

Jon Capadona and Mark Zimmerman (Photos Courtesy of Jeff Garvin)
Jon Capadona and Mark Zimmerman (Photos Courtesy of Jeff Garvin)

MARIETTA, Ohio  -- The Baldwin Wallace University baseball defeated Heidelberg University, 13-11, in the loser's bracket of the 2014 Ohio Athletic Conference Tournament game today at Pioneer Park on Don Schaly Stadium.

With its win, BW, ranked fourth in the Mideast Region of Division III, is 23-17 overall and plays Marietta in the loser's bracket final at 7:30 p.m. tonight. Heidelberg, ranked second in the Mideast Region, is 31-11 overall and must now await an NCAA Selection Committee decision regarding an appearance in the NCAA tourney.

Heidelberg jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning when it parlayed an error, two hit batsmen and a single to plate a run. The Yellow Jackets came right back to take a 2-1 lead with two runs of their own in the top of the second on two hits, a hit batter, two walks and a wild pitch.

The Student Princes took a 5-2 lead with four runs in the bottom of the second, but BW regained an 8-5 lead with a six-run third on six hits and a Heidelberg error. After Heidelberg cut BW's lead to 8-6 with a run in the bottom of the third, the Jackets regained their three-run advantage with a tally in the top of the fourth.

Heidelberg again cut its deficit to 9-7 with a run in the bottom of the fourth on two hits and a sacrifice fly. For the third straight time, BW countered the Student Princes as sophomore All-OAC second baseman Mark Zimmerman (Akron/Green) blasted a two-run home run, his third of the season for an 11-7 lead.

Undaunted, the Student Princes fought back via a two-run homer in the bottom of the sixth to cut BW's lead to 11-9. Again the Yellow Jackets came right back and countered with a single run to lead 12-9 after seven frames.

BW's lead grew to 13-9 with a run via a sacrifice fly in the top of the eighth. In the bottom of the eighth, Heidelberg scored twice via a two-run blast to cut BW's lead to 13-11.

In the top of the ninth, a Student Prince led off with a bloop double to center field. That was followed by a BW error. With runners on first and second base, Zimmerman picked off the Heidelberg runner at second base in a controversial decision for the first out. After a wild pitch moved the Heidelberg runner to second base, Zimmerman walked the batter. At that point, BW "stopper" Brandon Cichocki (Walled Lake, Mich./Central) replaced Zimmerman and got the final two outs to save the game.

At the plate, BW was led by junior shortstop Eric Murphy (Brook Park/Midpark), who was 4-for-6 with a run scored, a run batted-in (RBI) and a stolen base. Senior All-OAC third baseman Brad Gugliotta (Twinsburg) was 3-for-5 with a run scored, a double, a triple and four RBI. In addition, Zimmerman, sophomore designated hitter Hunter Handel (Akron/Green), senior leftfielder Kory Gillissie (Parma/St. Ignatius) and junior All-OAC rightfielder Alex Green (Pickerington/North) each had a pair of base hits.

On the mound, sophomore right-hander Alex Albright (North Royalton) started and pitched one inning-plus, allowed five hits and five runs (four earned). He left with a no-decision. Albright was replaced by senior righty Jon Capadona (North Royalton) who pitched five innings, allowed seven hits, four runs (all earned) and struck out three. He earned the victory to improve to 4-2 this season. Capadona gave way to Zimmerman in the seventh. Zimmerman allowed two hits, two runs (both earned), struck out two and walked two. Cichocki replaced Zimmerman and got the final two outs for his sixth save of the season.

The winner of the OAC Tournament receives the league's automatic berth in this year's NCAA Division III National Tournament which starts next week.

FOR MORE BW SPORTS INFORMATION, please contact Sports Information Director Kevin Ruple by telephone at 440-826-2327 and e-mail at or Assistant SID Jeff Miller by phone at 440-826-2780 and email Fans can access the latest BW athletics information at and we invite you to join us on Facebook at and Twitter at