With postseason play on the line, the Forester baseball
team dominated the MCC Play-In-Series by defeating Grace 12-4 and 12-1 to secure a spot in the MCC Conference Tournament slated for May 8-11.
After a quiet two innings, the Foresters put two runs on the board in the bottom of the third. Chris Menzie opened up play with a single to center. A double by Eric Schultz put runners in scoring position and Ryan Shell singled to right to drive in both runs. The Lancers got one back in the top of the fourth but the Foresters answered with two more runs in the bottom half of the frame on an RBI-double by Jarod Hammel.
Grace kept things interesting by plating three runs in the top of the fifth to tie things up at 4-4 but the Foresters quickly quieted the Lancer fans with their hot bats. After singles by Shell, Andrew Drummond and Eric Harpring to lead the bases, Justin Branock knocked one into left to score a run and a botched play by the Lancers allowed two more Foresters to cross the plate. Menzie capped off the inning with an RBI-single to push HU's lead back to 8-4. The Foresters went on to score runs in the six and seventh innings and then Travis Frantz put the finishing touch on Huntington's scoring fest with a two-run homer to left in the bottom of the eighth to give HU the 12-4 win.
Ethan Tribolet picked up the win for the Foresters. In 7 1/3 innings of work he gave up four runs, three earned, on 11 hits and one walk while striking out two. At the plate, Shell finished with four hits and two RBI.
In the nightcap the Foresters wasted no time taking command of the game. Frantz's RBI-single in the first inning gave HU the early 1-0 lead. The second inning featured several heavy hitters as Branock sent his first pitch over the left field fence and several batters later Drummond hit a three-run dinger to right to give the Foresters a comfortable 6-0 lead. Huntington continued to bury the Lancers by scoring five more runs in the third. After scoring the first three runs of the inning on RBI-doubles by Menzie and Adam Christner and a passed ball, Drummond recorded his second round-tripper of the game with a two-run shot to center. HU plated one more run in the bottom of the sixth but Grace matched it in the seventh with their only hit of the evening as the game came to an early 12-1 close.
Mitch Bowers went the distance to record the win giving up one run on one hit and three walks while striking out four. Drummond led the Foresters at the plate with two homers and five RBI.
The Foresters are back in action on Saturday for the MCC Conference Tournament at Indiana Wesleyan University. With the Play-In-Series still underway, bracket details to follow.