LAKELAND, Fla. - The HU baseball team wrapped up their season series with league foe Mount Vernon Nazarene University by dropping two contests to go winless against the Cougars.
It took a couple of extra innings for MVNU to eventually notch the 4-2 win in the opener. Each team finished with five hits but it was the Cougars who proved to be more efficient on the scoreboard.
Mount Vernon wasted little time getting on the board, taking a 2-0 lead after two innings of play but the Foresters showed plenty of grit by grinding out runs in the third and seventh to extend the game to extra innings.
Clutch hitting by Blake Ayers and Dalton Combs resulted in both Huntington runs. Ayers doubled in HU’s first run in the third and then Combs, with two outs in the seventh, delivered the game-tying run with a single to left after a pair of bobbles put the Foresters in scoring position.
Unfortunately, the Cougars finally brought the game to an end in the ninth, hammering out two hits and taking advantage of Huntington’s play which included a wild throw, three walks and a wild pitch, to plate two runs for the win.
Offensively, the Foresters were paced by Ayers who went 2-for-4 with an RBI. Combs, Michael Crowley and Andy Roser accounted for HU’s other hits.
Brock Gower had a solid outing in circle through the first seven innings, giving up three hits, two runs and three walks while striking out five before giving way to Drew McLochlin who worked the next 1.2 inning. The left-handed freshman took the loss for HU, giving up two hits and two runs.
It was another down-to-the-wire contest in the nightcap with the Cougars outlasting the Foresters for the 3-2 win.
Ayers again came up big for HU, knocking in both runs on 2-for-4 hitting. His first RBI came by way of an infield single that gave his team an early 1-0 lead in the third, their only advantage of the day, but the Cougars answered with two runs in the fourth to steal the lead at 2-1.
It was Ayers again who found a way to pull the Foresters back even with the Cougars, this time he doubled in a run in the fifth for the 2-2 tie.
After an uneventful sixth, MVNU plated the game-winner in the seventh and then retired HU’s first three batters to hang on for the win.
Avery Sneed and Dylan Henricks each collected a hit as Huntington managed only four hits in the nightcap.
Derek McKinney took the loss for HU. He went the distance and gave up seven hits, three runs and three walks while striking out two.