TIFFIN, Ohio – Defiance College had the tying runs in scoring position with two outs in the top of the ninth but could not get the big hit and fell by a 3-1 score at No. 3 Heidelberg on Friday. Tim Pitro collected two hits in the loss to tie for the most career hits in DC history.
Pitro now has 150 career hits during his outstanding four-year career with the Yellow Jackets and sits perched atop the program's all-time hit list with B.J. Moss, who roamed the diamond for Defiance from 1994-1997.
Pitro's career milestone was nearly overshadowed by DC's upset bid against the third-ranked Heidelberg squad, as the Jackets battled back from a 3-0 deficit in the opening innings to put the potential game-tying run on second base in the top of the ninth.
After Heidelberg had built a 3-0 lead with a sacrifice fly in the second and third innings and an RBI double in the fourth, Defiance held the powerful lineup scoreless the rest of the way and chipped into the deficit in the sixth with an RBI single from Zach Stallkamp.
Neither side would threaten again until the ninth, when Matt Chidester stroked a pinch-hit single with two outs to keep DC's hopes alive. Kirk Jesse then smacked a double down the left field line to put runners on second and third and force Heidelberg to turn the game over to its ace closer, Andy Lowe.
Lowe entered having held the opposition to a paltry .183 batting average over his previous 13 appearances this season and needed only five pitches to earn his seventh save of the year by getting a harmless ground out to second base to preserve the 3-1 Heidelberg victory.
Alex Timofeev joined Pitro with a multi-hit game to help DC outhit Heidelberg 9-6, as the junior knocked out three hits in his four at bats. Stallkamp went 1-4 at the plate to extend his hit streak to 15 games and drove in DC's only run of the day.
Jake Taylor (1-3) took the loss on the hill for the Jackets after allowing three earned runs in 4.2 innings of work. The freshman hurler struggled with his command throughout the afternoon, walking three and hitting five.
Tyler Gallant entered to pitch the final 3.1 innings for Defiance and held Heidelberg to zero runs on just two hits, while striking out four batters.
As a tandem, the two freshmen pitchers for DC held Heidelberg (20-3) to three runs on six hits, despite that offense averaging 10 runs on nearly 13 hits per game during the 2010 season entering play on Friday.
Defiance (10-11, 4-4 HCAC) will face another non-conference road challenge on Sunday, when it plays at Goshen in a game set to begin at 3:00 pm.