The Foresters baseball
team (1-0) opened their spring season on the road at Freed-Hardeman University (4-4) in Tennessee and came away with the convincing 11-6 victory.
With two outs in the second, HU put four runs on the board to take the early lead. After Jarod Hammel got things started with a walk, Jamon Hammel hammered out a double to drive in his brother. Justin Branock and Adam Christner then reached base on back-to-back errors. With the bases loaded, Eric Schultz doubled scoring all three base runners to give HU the 4-0 lead.
Jarod Hammel's single and stolen base in the top of the fourth ignited another Forester scoring run. After a Forester strike-out, Branock singled to score Jarod Hammel who had advanced to third on a wild pitch. Christner followed that up with a single and another Lion error advanced him and Jordan Klopfenstein, Branock's pinch runner, to second and third base respectively. A sacrifice fly by Schultz drove in both his teammates giving the Foresters a 7-0 lead.
Freed-Hardeman got one back in the bottom half of the inning and added three more in the fifth to close the deficit to 7-4 but the Foresters answered with two more runs in the top of the sixth. Branock reached base on a fielder's choice and then Christner singled and advanced to second in the midst of run down at third with Klopfenstein, Branock's pinch runner. He proceeded to steal third base and then crossed the plate on a wild pitch. HU's hot bats continued as Schultz doubled, Harpring singled and Drummond doubled to drive in Schultz for the 9-4 lead.
The Lions would add another run in the seventh and eighth innings but couldn't overcome the Foresters' dominance at the plate as HU added two more insurance runs in the top of the eighth to secure the win. After another single and some clever base-running, Christner scored on Harpring's ground out. Drummond then sent one deep to round out HU's scoring for the day.
Mitch Bowers (1-0) earned the win for HU. In six innings of work he gave up four runs on seven hits and one walk while striking out five. Christner led the Foresters with three hits while Schultz had a game-high five RBI. HU out-hit Freed-Hardeman 13-10, and committed just one error to the Lions' three.