Updated Sat, Apr 12, 2014 7:53 pm
In a tale of two games, the Marietta College Pioneers split a doubleheader at No. 12 Heidelberg University.
In the first game of the twin bill, starting pitcher Christian Herstine pitched seven near-flawless innings in a 4-1 Pioneer victory.
Herstine struck out six while giving up just an unearned run on a hit and four walks. This isn’t his first dominant performance of the year. Herstine hurled a no-hitter earlier in the season.
Designated hitter Ryan Annett did not want the story to just be about the pitching in game one. Annett went 3 for 4 with a homerun and two RBIs.
After an outstanding pitching performance in game one, the Pioneers went into a 7-2 hole after four and just could not dig out of it in a 9-7 loss to Heidelberg.
The biggest problem for the “Etta Express” was giving up seven runs through the first four innings.
Tyler Nieberding lost his first game of the season in what could be described as his worst-pitched game thus far. Nieberding went just three innings and gave up four runs on eight hits.
Jim Luyster came in relief and went just two-thirds of an inning and gave up three runs on three hits.
Despite the pitching woes, the Pioneer offense battled back. Marietta scored two runs in sixth and was down 9-4 going into the top of the ninth.
With two outs and runners on first and second, Mitch Geers hit a three-run homer to pull within two. Following the homerun, Josh Ungerbuehler drew a two-out walk. However, the two-out rally ended when Ryan Annett struck out to end the game.
The Marietta Pioneers are now 7-3 in the Ohio Athletic Conference and currently would be seeded third in the OAC Tournament. The top four teams qualify and the Pioneers have eight OAC games left.
Marietta has nine games left and the final push begins on Tuesday when the Pioneers host Capital University for a doubleheader.