Huntington, Ind. - After a week of rain, the Forester baseball team (14-21, 9-9) took the field for the first time since last Thursday and dropped a pair of games, 2-1 and 4-3, to the hottest team in the MCC, Taylor University. The Trojans are currently riding a 19-game winning streak.
Huntington’s offense struggled to find a rhythm in game one as the Foresters mustered only three hits, all of which came in the sixth inning, in the 2-1 loss. After a quiet three innings by both teams, the Trojans strung together four hits in the top of the fourth to plate two runs. The Foresters answered in the sixth when Shaun Marion started things off with a single to center and eventually came around to score on an RBI-single by Eric Schultz to pull HU within one but their rally was cut short as Taylor secured the final out of the inning leaving two runners stranded.
Mitch Bowers took the loss for Huntington giving up seven hits and two runs while striking out five in 6.1 innings of work. Blake Ayers was the only other Forester to pick up a base hit in the losing effort.
The Foresters’ bats picked up in the nightcap but it wouldn’t be enough as the Trojans completed the sweep with a 4-3 win by outhitting HU 9-7. Taylor came up big in their second at-bats as back-to-back doubles fueled a three-run inning to give the Trojans an early 3-0 lead but HU kept things interesting with three runs in the middle two innings. Justin Branock ripped a double to deep left-center in the fourth to bring home Jamon Hammel who had singled earlier in the inning and Drew Adams followed up with a single to drive in HU’s second run. Schultz picked up his second RBI of the day in the fifth to knot things up at 3-3.
After an uneventful sixth inning, Taylor’s first baseman Ryne Otis doubled to left to open the seventh, advanced to third on a Forester error and slid home on a squeeze play to score the game-winner.
Ethan Tribolet started and gave up seven hits, three walks and three runs over five innings with three strikeouts. Derek McKinney suffered the loss in relief as he surrendered one hit and one run in an inning’s work. Jordan Klopfenstein went 2-for-3 and scored a run to lead HU at the plate. Schultz, Branock and Adams each finished with an RBI-hit.
The Foresters are back in action tonight when they take on Indiana Tech at Parkview Field for a nine-inning game at 6:00 p.m.