LAKELAND, Fla. – For the fourth time this week, the Forester baseball team got the short end of the stick in a contest that took extra innings to determine the outcome. This time around, it took 12 innings for Johnson University (FL) to hand HU a 4-3 loss.
Huntington scored runs in the second and third under similar circumstances to jump out to an early 2-0 lead. Jared Ham spearheaded the first run by singling to center, advancing all the way to third on a wild throw and then coming around to score on Brock Gower’s sacrifice fly.
In HU’s next at-bats, Bryce Urschel followed suit by singling up the middle and then, after stealing second and advancing to third on a wild throw, touching home on Marc Bowers’ sacrifice fly.
The Suns’ offense eventually came to life, scoring runs in the fifth and seventh to knot things up at 2-2. Bats for both teams were quiet the next two innings to send the game into extra innings where Johnson eventually outlasted HU.
Johnson took their first lead in the eleventh but the Foresters were quick to answer in their half of the frame in similar fashion to their first two runs. Avery Sneed reached both corners on wild throws with a steal in between before tagging up on Michael Kempton’s sacrifice fly to stay alive.
Unfortunately, HU couldn’t match the Suns in the twelfth. After giving up a run in the top of the frame, the Foresters charged right back. With the tying on second and go ahead run on first with only one out, back-to-back infield popups quickly squelched any hopes of a heroic HU finish.
HU managed only five hits to the Suns’ 12.
John Ripke threw the first nine innings, giving up two runs on nine hits, before giving way to Bowers who provided two innings of relief during which he gave up two hits and a run. Dalton Combs tossed the final inning, giving up a run-scoring single for the loss.