MARION, Ind. - After knocking off 6th-seeded HU in 14 innings in the opening round of the Crossroads League tournament on Wednesday, 3rd-seeded Mount Vernon Nazarene University only needed nine innings to eliminate Coach Frame’s squad, 6-3, from the tourney and bring the Foresters’ season to an end.
It was a battle of the wills for pitchers Cody Walters and Ben Hoar as both hurlers kept anyone from touching home through the first five innings.
Jake Dickerson, who ended Wednesday’s encounter with a grand slam, broke the silence in the sixth when he clocked a two-run shot over the left field fence to give his team a 2-0 lead.
It proved to be the only two runs Walters gave up in his seven innings in the circle. He scattered seven hits, issued no walks and fanned one before Blake Hohlbein came in on relief and was tagged with the loss. He tossed the final frame and surrendered four runs, four hits and one walk while striking out one.
Huntington’s offense finally came to life in the eighth. Marc Bowers benefitted from two wild pitches, his first break coming on Ben Hoar’s third strike wild pitch. Two batters later, Hoar sent another pitch to the backstop allowing Bowers to make his way from third to home and pull his team within one. Jordan Klopfenstein then evened things up with a RBI-single up the middle to make it a 2-2 contest.
The Cougars came charging back in their half of the frame, posting four runs on four hits to grow the lead to 6-2, a deficit too large to overcome. Josh Lanphier’s RBI sacrifice fly in the top of the ninth wasn’t near enough as MVNU’s relief pitcher Cediel Roberto worked his way out the inning to secure the win.
Bowers and Lanphier each finished with two hits to pace HU at the plate.
The Foresters end their season with an overall record of 12-25.