DEFIANCE, OHIO -- The Defiance College baseball team fell, 16-5, in a non-conference matchup with Heidelberg University on Sunday at Craig A. Rutter Field.
The Student Princes scored a run to open the first inning, but Defiance threatened in the bottom of the frame, loading the bases. Heidelberg hurler Sam Ankrom struck out back-to-back hitters to end the inning with no runs, as Heidelberg led 1-0.
The visitors exploded in the top of inning two, adding six runs and chasing sophomore Grant Curavo (Northwood/Cardinal Stritch Catholic) after just 1.1 innings and giving them a 7-0 lead. Heidelberg added one more in the third and six in the fourth, four of them coming on a grand slam that saw Heidelberg take a 14-0 lead after 3.5 innings.
A two-out fourth inning rally saw an RBI single from freshman Nate Kaffenbarger (DeGraff/Indian Lake) score sophomore Jude Neary (Toledo/Cardinal Stritch Catholic) to load the bases. The very next pitch saw sophomore Ben Bucklew (Archbold) hit by a pitch, scoring sophomore Jude Neary (Toledo/Cardinal Stritch Catholic) to put Defiance on the board. Junior catcher Kody Fuller (Wabash, Ind.) scored on a wild pitch during the next at bat to make it a 14-2 game, but Heidelberg would get out of the inning without further damage.
The Student Prince lead grew to 16-2, but Defiance added a run in the eighth inning, as Fuller scored on a Heidelberg error to make it a 16-3 game. Defiance scored two more runs in the ninth inning, as Heidelberg pitching walked five hitters as the game ended with a 16-5 final tally.
Cruravo suffered his first loss of the season on Sunday in his first career start. In all, six pitchers threw for the Yellow Jackets, the highlight coming from freshman Jack Powell (Commerce Twp., Mich./Walled Lake Northern), who wrapped up the game for Defiance by throwing four scoreless innings, allowing just three hits while striking out four.
The Yellow Jackets will dive back into HCAC play on Tuesday, May 1 as they travel to Florence, Ky. for a doubleheader against Mount St. Joseph University. First pitch for the opener is set for 1 p.m. at UC Health Stadium.