GOSHEN, Ind. - It was a night of solid pitching by both teams as the Forester baseball team split with Goshen College Thursday night in MCC action. The Maple Leafs handed HU a 2-1 loss in the opener before the Foresters bounced back to steal game two 3-2 and wrap up the season series 3-1.
The Foresters held a brief lead in game one when Blake Ayers delivered a two-out knock into left in the top of the first to drive in HU’s lone run. Goshen responded immediately by plating a run in their half of the frame to deadlock things at 1-1.
It was a pitcher’s duel the rest of the way as neither team logged an earned run. HU’s defense finally cracked in the bottom of the fifth when an errant throw allowed the Maple Leafs to plate the game-winner.
Mitch Bowers (5-5) was charged with the loss in the circle. In six innings of work he gave up two runs, one earned, eight hits while striking out two.
Ayers and Jordan Klopfenstein finished with two hits apiece to pace HU offensively. Ayers added an RBI.
The Foresters mounted an impressive comeback in the nightcap to rob the Maple Leafs of the sweep.
Things looked bleak for the visitors as GC pitcher Matt Austin was on track for a perfect game through the six innings but all that changed in HU’s last at-bats.
Down 2-0 with one out in the top of the seventh, the Foresters finally came alive at the plate. Ayers worked a walk to spark the rally and Eric Schultz and Josh Lanphier followed up with back-to-back base pokes to load the bases. Brian Kirschbaum came through with a clutch line-drive up the middle to drive in two runs and knot things up at 2-2. Adam Christner then delivered a run scoring shot to left for what proved to be the game-winner.
Kirschbaum did a little bit of everything as he not only picked up the win on the mound but led HU’s offense by driving in two runs with his seventh-inning single. In the circle he gave up one hit while striking out two in the final 1.1 innings.
Tyler Palmer pitched the first four inning and gave up four hits and two runs. Wes Carroll provided 1.2 innings of scoreless relief before Kirschbaum wrapped things up.
"We were very fortunate to come away with a split,” commented Coach Frame. “In the second game we had a perfect game thrown at us until one out in the seventh and then we were able to string some things together and score three runs. Mitch and Tyler threw very well coming back on short rest and Wes and Brian were outstanding again in relief."
The Foresters (20-22, 15-13) are back in action on Saturday when the travel to Spring Arbor University for a 1:00 p.m. doubleheader.