SPRING ARBOR, Mich. – The Huntington baseball team made the trek up north to face Spring Arbor University (13-9, 5-3) where they split with the Cougars, 2-6, 5-2, Saturday afternoon to move to 11-17 overall, 5-9 in Crossroads play.
SAU jumped out of the gates to take a 4-0 lead after the first inning of play and tacked on two more runs along the way to take command of the opener. They finished with nine hits for six runs off sophomore pitcher Brock Gower who went the distance on the mound for the loss. He issued one walk while striking out four during his time in the circle.
The Foresters never challenged the lead as they managed only six hits with TJ Lindstrand and Austin Drummond picking up run-scoring base pokes.
Michael Crowley set the stage for HU’s first run by leading off the fifth with a single. Michael Kempton came in to run for him and after advancing to second on a wild pitch, scampered home on Drummond’s two-out RBI-single. Huntington’s second run came in the seventh when Lindstrand knocked in Dalton Combs who had doubled earlier in the inning to wrap up the visitor’s scoring.
Coach Frame’s squad turned things around in the nightcap thanks to solid hitting and a spectacular performance on the mound by Derek McKinney. The senior surrendered only three hits, two runs and two walks while striking out five for the complete-game victory and first win of the season.
Offensively, HU made a statement early by plating three runs in the opening frame. The first five batters each pounded out hits with Shea Beauchamp and Lindstrand each picking up RBI-singles in that mix. Combs accounted for the third RBI of the inning when he flied out in foul territory allowing Beauchamp to tag up. After tripling to deep right, Blake Ayers followed in Beauchamp’s footsteps by tagging up on Dylan Henricks’ sacrifice fly in the second to extend the lead to 4-0.
After four innings of small ball, the Foresters went back to work offensively. Making his second appearance at the plate this season, Heaston Schwob made it count by drawing a walk with bases loaded in the seventh to earn his team’s fifth RBI of the contest. The Cougars would get two back in their half of the frame to pull within three by the final out.
Ayers, Beauchamp and Lindstrand finished with two hits apiece.
The Foresters will square off against Spring Arbor again on Monday at Forest Glen Park to wrap up the season series. Opening pitch is slated for 3:00 p.m.