SPRING ARBOR - In a race to the finish, the HU baseball team swept Spring Arbor University, 3-0, 14-8, at Hank Burbridge Field Saturday afternoon to slide into the No. 5 spot in the MCC standings.
With six games to go, the Foresters are seven games out of first and one game behind Spring Arbor and Mount Vernon who are currently tied for third.
Ethan Tribolet (6-3) and Brian Kirschbaum combined to shut down the Cougar offense in game one. Tribolet scattered five hits through 5.2 innings to pick up the win on the mound while Kirschbaum threw 1.1 inning of hitless relief to seal the 3-0 shutout.
After plating a run in the top of the first thanks to a wild throw, the Foresters tacked on an insurance run in the following inning when Shaun Marion singled to shallow right-center to drive in Brandon Van Matre who had doubled to left earlier in the frame. Josh Lanphier capped off the Foresters’ scoring with an RBI sacrifice fly in the fifth as HU cruised to the three-run victory.
The Foresters finished with eight hits while drawing three walks. Van Matre and Marion paced Huntington with two hits apiece.
While HU’s offense has sputtered at times this season, that wasn’t the case for Huntington in the nightcap as they posted 18 hits on their way to a 14-8 victory.
After taking a 1-0 lead in the first, the Foresters exploded for five runs in the second to knock out Cougar starter Chris Walerski. The Foresters would chase two other SAU pitchers off the mound by plating four runs in the fourth and four more in the seventh to run away with the win.
It was a team effort as nine different Foresters registered hits on the day with the top of the order leading the way. Jordan Klopfenstein finished with three hits while Adam Christner, Eric Schultz and Lanphier each tallied two hits. These four also combined to score six runs and knock in six more.
Kirschbaum came through as HU’s designated hitter to go 3-for-5 from the plate while scoring a run and driving in another. Marc Bowers and Marion each collected a pair of hits and finished with one and two RBI respectively.
Cody Walters registered the win in the circle. In 5.2 innings he gave up six runs on seven hits and one walk to move to 2-0 on the season.
The Foresters (22-22, 17-13) host Spring Arbor University on Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. to complete the season series against the Cougars.