HUNTINGTON, Ind. - After a disappointing start to the week, the Forester baseball team bounced back to grab two wins against Goshen College Tuesday afternoon at Forester Glen Park to improve to 19-21, 14-12 in MCC action.
The Foresters mounted a come-from-behind 4-3 win in the opener and then handed the Maple Leafs a 5-2 decision in the nightcap.
Goshen struck first in the top of the third by piecing together two hits and drawing three walks to plate two runs but Eric Schultz cut the lead in half with a mighty swing of the bat by crushing one over the right field fence in HU’s half of the frame to make it a 2-1 contest.
Each team found home in the fifth. HU’s came by way of Blake Ayers' sacrifice fly that scored Adam Christner, who had singled to right earlier in the inning.
Heading into their final at-bats down 3-2, the Foresters pieced together an impressive rally fueled by the wheels of Jordan Klopfenstein. After reaching base on Goshen first baseman Jose Andrade’s wild throw, Klopfenstein stole second and advanced to third on that same play thanks to another wild throw by the Maple Leafs. Schultz knocked him in with a base poke to center to tie things up at 3-3.
Josh Lanphier kept the rally alive with a single to right, Ayers was intentionally walked to load the bases and pinch hitter Brandon Van Matre polished off the game with a sacrifice fly to left to drive in Schultz for the win.
Ethan Tribolet had a fantastic outing on the mound as he scattered seven hits, five walks and three runs with six strikeouts for the complete game victory.
Schultz led the offensive charge by going 3-for-3 at the plate which included his second dinger of the season, two RBI and two runs scored. Lanphier tallied two hits while Van Matre finished with a double and a RBI.
The Foresters left no doubt about the nightcap as they built a 5-0 lead after five innings before the Maple Leafs finally got two back in the sixth to round out the game’s scoring.
After three consecutive singles to load the bases, Dustin Rutledge plated a run with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the second to give HU an early 1-0 lead. The Foresters tacked on two more runs in the next inning on an Ayers sacrifice fly and run scoring single by Van Matre.
Ayers added another RBI to his game totals in the bottom of the fifth with a base poke to center and then came around to score on a Marc Bowers double to left to put the game out of reach.
Cody Walters earned the win on the mound. Riding a perfect game through the first five innings, he gave up a walk to open the sixth and went on surrender two hits and two runs, neither earned, in the inning. Wes Carroll worked the final out of the sixth before Brian Kirschbaum tossed the final inning to pick up the save.
Offensively, Ayers, Van Matre and Bowers pounded out two hits apiece. Ayers scored twice and drove in two runs while Van Matre and Bowers each collected an RBI.
Klopfenstein accomplished a rarity in the sport by finishing the day with three assists from right field. He threw out a runner at home in the six inning of the opener and then tallied two more in the nightcap. He threw out Caleb Yoder at third in the sixth and then sealed the game by making a sliding catch in the seventh and throwing out the baserunner for the double play.
"Kind of the same story for us; good pitching, very average offense,” commented Coach Frame. “We had just enough offense to win. Coach Screeton has done a nice job with the Goshen program. We feel fortunate to win two games tonight."
The Foresters travel to Goshen on Thursday to square-off with the Maple Leafs at 2:00 p.m.