HUNTINGTON, Ind. - The Foresters were firing on all cylinders Thursday night as they picked up a pair of wins, 4-2, 11-1, against the University of Saint Francis to improve to 9-15 overall, 4-6 in conference play.
Sophomore left-hander John Ripke pitched a dandy to earn the win on the hill. After holding the Cougars hitless through the first six innings, he gave up two hits and two runs in the top of the seventh before reliever Brian Kirschbaum worked the final three outs to pick up the save.
Eric Schultz took charge at the plate to lead the team with two hits to go along with two RBI and a run scored. Adam Christner finished with two doubles, scored a run and drove in another.
After two innings of scoreless baseball, HU pounded out three runs in the third to take a comfortable 3-0 lead. Marc Bowers singled to left to start the inning and came in on Christner’s first double of the night. Schultz then blasted his first dinger of the season, a two-run shot over the right field fence to extend the lead.
The Foresters manufactured another run in the bottom of the fourth via a Chris Menzie RBI-single to right to put the home team up by a 4-0 margin.
The Cougars finally came to life at the plate in the top of the seventh when Jerrid Rydell sent one deep to plate a pair of runs but it wouldn’t be enough as the Foresters held on for the win.
Huntington sifted through four USF pitchers to erupt for a season-high 17 hits in an 11-1 rout of the Cougars in the nightcap.
Ten different Foresters got in on the act with Jordan Klopfenstein leading the way by going 4-for-5 with three runs scored. Schultz and Jamon Hammel each recorded two hits in the game and drove in three and two runs respectively. Josh Lanphier finished with a double and three RBI. Christner added a pair of hits which included his third double of the day and tallied three runs while Bowers tallied two hits and an RBI.
HU scored four runs in its first at-bats highlighted by Lanphier’s two-run double to left. The Cougars got one back in the top of the second but the Foresters picked up where they left out to bat round the order and register four more runs on six hits to take a commanding 8-1 lead into the third.
After a subdued two innings, the Forester offense came alive again in the bottom of the fifth to plate three more runs one their way to the lopsided win.
Anthony Roth had an outstanding outing on the mound to pick up his third career win. He scattered three hits, issued two walks and allowed one run while striking out three in five innings of work. Cody Walters and Blake Hohlbein each tossed an inning of scoreless relief to seal the victory.
The Foresters are back in action on Saturday when they face-off with Saint Francis again for a 1:00 doubleheader at Cougar Field in Fort Wayne.