After a day off due to numerous delays and postponements, the Foresters returned to the field to continue their quest for a NAIA Regional Championship. HU hit a bump in the road with a 5-3 loss to NAIA 19th-ranked Spring Arbor in the first game. Facing elimination, the Foresters rebounded with a 7-1 win over 16th-ranked Madonna University and instead bounced the Crusaders from the tournament.
In HU's first game, Spring Arbor jumped in front early with three runs in the bottom of the first. The Foresters got one back in the third on a Andrew Drummond RBI single, and pulled within one on a Keith Benbow jack to right field in the fourth. The Cougars answered with a run in the both the fourth and fifth to make it 5-2.
In the eighth, Thad Frame drove in Benbow with a single up the middle to make it 5-3, but HU left the tying runs stranded at first and second. Spring Arbor then got the Foresters on three ground outs in the top of the ninth to send them to the loser's bracket.
Both teams came up with 11 hits in the game, but the Cougars' were more timely as evidenced by leaving just six runners on base as compared to 13 for HU.
Michael Dalton went the distance in the loss for the Foresters. He allowed five runs on 11 hits and two walks. Frame led HU with three hits in the contest.
Following the loss, the Foresters had to immediately turn around and play Madonna University with the winner moving on to face Spring Arbor in the Championship game tomorrow.
The Crusaders lit one on the board first in the top of the second. HU responded with two in their half of the frame. The Foresters finally put together a big inning in the fourth with five hits. Austan Kas delivered the knockout punch with a one-out, three-run double. A Frame solo homer in the sixth made it 7-1 to complete the scoring in the game.
Eric Randel pitched a gem of a game to record his sixth complete game and tenth win of the season. He allowed just four Crusader hits and walked one while striking out two. Korey Grow and Edwin Rodriguez each had three hits in the game for HU and Kas led the team with three RBI.
The Foresters will now face Spring Arbor tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. for a chance at the NAIA Region VIII title. Since the Cougars are undefeated in the tournament, HU would have to beat them twice to claim the Regional Championship.