LAKELAND, Fla. – The HU baseball team opened the conference portion of its season yesterday in the sunshine state, dropping a 2-1 decision to Mount Vernon Nazarene University in game one before rained suspended the nightcap. The Foresters were up 2-1 in game two after three innings before rain halted play.
While it was a low-scoring affair, it wasn’t for lack of solid hitting as Huntington pounded out nine hits to the Cougars’ 16. The 11-inning game saw 23 batters stranded between the two teams.
Freshman Jared Green went 3-for-5 at the plate to pace Huntington offensively. He also tallied his team’s lone RBI in his first at-bat.
Blake Ayers set the stage for HU’s early 1-0 lead by singling to short to open the contest. It was nifty base-running after that as he stole second and advanced to third on a fielder’s obstruction before coming around to score on Green’s single.
Fast forward to the fifth where MVNU strung together three hits to deadlock things at 1-1. Things would remain tied up after seven sending the game to extra innings where the Cougars finally broke the scoring drought in the 11th to claim the hard fought Crossroads battle.
Marc Bowers took the loss for HU. He gave up four hits, one run and two walks in the final 3.1 innings. John Ripke got the start and worked seven innings where he surrendered 12 hits and a run before being relieved.
The Foresters (4-6, 0-1) face Mount Vernon again today at noon.