HUNTINGTON, Ind. - The Forester baseball team opened up its conference season by splitting a pair of games with Marian University, 8-0, 9-6, Tuesday afternoon at Forester Glen Park.
HU wasted no time taking control of the first game. In their first at-bat, Jordan Klopfenstein drew a walk and Eric Schultz reached base on a wild pitch to set the table. Jamon Hammel ripped an RBI-double to left to make it 2-0 before Marc Bowers hit a sacrifice fly to push the Foresters in front 3-0.
Fast forward to the Forester half of the fourth inning. With two on base, Adam Christner who has been quiet at the plate as of late, tripled in two runs and then came around to score on a wild pitch to blow the game wide open. HU extended the lead to 8-0 on a misplayed grounder and a run-scoring single by Chris Menzie.
That was more than enough support for Mitch Bowers who pitched his first shutout of the season and gave up a mere two hits while striking out five in six innings on the mound.
Schultz finished with two hits and scored two runs to pace HU offensively. Seven other Foresters logged a hit with Hammel and Christner driving in three and two runs respectively.
The tables turned in the nightcap as Marian became the aggressors. Holding onto a 2-1 lead through the first four innings, the Knights hammered out three hits and took advantage of three walks, a passed ball and an error to plate five runs in the top of the fifth and enjoy a comfortable 7-1 lead.
They added another run in the sixth before the Foresters got two back in their half of the frame. Klopfenstein, who opened up play with a double, scored on a balk and Marc Bowers drove in a second run on a double to left to close the gap to 8-3.
Marian continued to have their way at the plate as they touched home again in the seventh but the home team kept things interesting in their last at-bats. With two outs and runners on first and second, Schultz blasted his second double of the contest to plate a run and then came around to score on a wild pitch but not before Hammel tallied an RBI-single to pull the Foresters within three at 9-6. HU would get no closer as Marian recorded the game’s final out to escape with the win.
Huntington banged out eight hits with Klopfenstein, Schultz and Josh Lanphier collecting for two hits apiece and Schultz driving in two of the team’s six runs.
Tyler Palmer took the loss on the mound. In 4.2 innings of work, he gave up seven runs, five earned, on six hits and four walks while striking out two.
The Foresters (6-10, 1-1) hit the road on Thursday to face Marian University again for a doubleheader at 2:00 p.m.