HUNTINGTON, Ind. - The HU baseball team denied the MCC’s top-seeded team an opportunity to celebrate the league’s regular season title at Forester Glen Park by splitting with 24th-ranked Taylor University Thursday evening. The Foresters edged past the Trojans 3-2 in the opener before Taylor pieced together an impressive seven-inning rally to skate past HU 12-6 in the nightcap.
Huntington logged four hits in game one all of which came in their first at-bats but it proved to be enough in the pitcher’s duel to secure the win. Adam Christner ignited the rally with an infield single and was the first to find home when Eric Schultz knocked him with a single to right. Two batters later, Blake Ayers singled up the middle to drive in Jordan Klopfenstein who had reached base on a bobbled bunt earlier in the inning. Drew Adams capped off HU’s scoring with a run scoring base poke to give the home team an early 3-0 lead.
The Trojans erased the deficit to one in the top of the second but they came up empty the rest of the way as Ethan Tribolet locked down on the mound to limit the Trojans to one hit over the next four innings for the win. He gave up four hits and two runs before Brian Kirschbaum worked a 1-2-3 seventh inning to pick up his ninth save of the season.
Both teams enjoyed more active bats in the nightcap with the Trojans owning a slight 12-10 hitting advantage. The Foresters held onto a slim 6-5 lead through the first five innings before Taylor’s Austin York opened the flood gates with a solo shot in the top of the six to knot things up at 6-6. The Trojans went on to explode for six runs in the seventh to blow the game wide open.
HU’s top of the lineup accounted for the bulk of their offensive firepower with clean-up Josh Lanphier leading the way. He finished 3-for-4 with an RBI while Christner and Klopfenstein each tallied two hits, a run and an RBI. Shaun Marion also chipped in a pair of hits and drove in a run.
Derek McKinney was charged with the loss. In an inning’s worth of work, he surrendered three runs on two hits while striking out two. HU starter Cody Walters gave up five runs, three earned, on three hits in a no decision.
The Foresters (25-23, 20-14) travel to Taylor on Saturday to wrap up the regular season.