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2013-04-11 Despite the rain, Tigers host Wolves and split doubleheader
Ben Heller (2)

Senior Ben Heller won his sixth game against Cardinal Stritch on Thursday, his 24th of his career (3rd all-time)

Despite rain, Tigers host Wolves and split doubleheader

Author: Nick Birkey
Posted: Friday, April 12, 2013 at 9:42 AM

BOURBONNAIS, Ill. — Due to rainy weather conditions, the Olivet Nazarene University baseball team hosted their doubleheader with Cardinal Stritch University (Wis.) that was originally scheduled to be played in Milwaukee, Wis. The Tigers played as the visiting team on the scoreboard. In game one, they defeated the Wolves 8-3 with complete game effort from Ben Heller (Whitewater, Wis.). In game two, darkness cut the Tiger’s comeback effort short in the eighth inning as Cardinal Stritch won 6-4.

In game one, there were five hits allowed in the first three innings, but neither team allowed a run until the top of the fourth. ONU (21-16, 10-8) exploded with three runs off two hits and took advantage off a Wolves's error. Justin Fahy (Fargo, N.D.) doubled late in the inning to bring home the third run after an error and sac bunt brought home the first two. In the bottom of the inning, Lucas Simon singled, scoring Chad Mazur and Brandon Helt, for Cardinal Stritch (9-19, 5-11). ONU made it 5-2 in the fifth inning after Adrian Perez (Chicago, Ill.) scored because of an error by the catcher. Matt Davenport (Swayzee, Ind.) scored the fifth run on a sac bunt by Jordan Hayes (St. Charles, Ill.). The Tigers continued to put pressure on the Wolves with three more in the sixth off three hits. The Wolves's third error of the game allowed a Tiger run, and back-to-back sac flies scored runs. Cardinal Stritch made it 8-3 in the bottom half, but it wasn’t enough.

Senior Ben Heller (6-3) started his ninth game of the year, throwing a complete game and allowing only three runs off seven hits. He walked five and struck out six. He earned his sixth win of 2013 and 24th of his career, placing him tied for third on the all-time wins list in ONU history.

The Wolves started Kevin Murphy (0-7) who went the distance allowing eight runs — two earned — off nine hits. He struck out five and walked three.

For ONU, Fahy went 3-for-4 with one RBI and one run. Davenport went 2-for-3 with two runs, and Nick Jones (Bourbonnais, Ill.) went 2-for-2 with one run.

Chris Bass had two hits for the Wolves, and Lucas Simon was the only Stritch batter with an RBI.

In game two, junior Jonathan Fightmaster (Bourbonnais, Ill.) (5-3) went seven innings allowing six runs — two earned — off nine hits, walking four and striking out three. Parker Shelton (Columbus, Ind.) faced a batter in the eighth and gave up a hit. Paul Griffin (Pekin, Ill.) got an out in the eighth, and Kevin Lasowski (Schererville, Ind.) got the final two outs for the Tigers.

The Wolves threw Luke Erickson (3-3) for a complete game. He allowed four runs — three earned — off three hits, walking four and striking out 11.

In each of the first three innings, there was at least one run scored. Perez had a sacrifice fly to left field that scored Fahy after he walked to take a 1-0 lead. Stritch’s Helt grounded out to the pitcher, scoring Chris Bass to tie the game. In the second, Stefan Sauder (Morton, Ill.) scored because of an error by the shortstop. The Wolves tied the game again when Tony Smit singled and scored Tyler Dykema. ONU took the lead in the third when Dan Schneider (West Salem, Wis.) and Ryan Kern (Bloomington, Ill.) put on a double steal, and Schneider crossed home safely. The Tigers took a 4-2 lead in the fifth when Schneider scored again on a Kern groundout to first. Fightmaster pitched his third scoreless inning in the fifth; and in the sixth, the Wolves took control, scoring four. Chad Mazur scored when Lewandowski singled. Chris Bass singled and scored Lewandowski. Schnulle walked with the bases loaded to bring home Dykema, and the sixth run was Smit on a Herberg walk. The Tigers were unable to score again, down 6-4.

At the plate for the Tigers, Dan Schneider, Ryan Kern and Josh Altmann each had hits. Schneider scored two runs. Overall, the Tigers stole nine bases between both games.

For Stritch, Mitchell Schnulle went 2-for-4 with one RBI, and Kasey Lewandowski had two hits and one run and RBI apiece. Tony Smit went 2-for-4 with one RBI and one run.

ONU will be back on the field Saturday, April 13, starting at 12 p.m., with a doubleheader on the road against the Illinois Institute of Technology.