UPLAND, Ind. - In four regular season meetings with Spring Arbor University, the Huntington University baseball team went 4-0, putting together some its best games of the season.
The Cougars turned the tables on the Foresters in round one of the Mid-Central Conference Tournament.
Fourth-seeded Spring Arbor totaled 15 hits and scored six runs over the first three innings to top fifth-seeded
Huntington, 10-2, Wednesday afternoon at Taylor University.
With the loss, Huntington (25-25) drops into the loser’s bracket where it plays the University of Saint Francis (33-23) today at 10 a.m. in an elimination game. Second-seeded Saint Francis lost to No. 3 Mount Vernon Nazarene University, 4-1, on Wednesday. Huntington took three of four from Saint Francis in the regular season.
A win puts Huntington in another elimination contest, this one at 4 p.m. The Foresters need to rattle off five straight victories to win the tourney and earn a third consecutive bid into the NAIA National Tournament.
Spring Arbor (37-14) got to Huntington ace Mitch Bowers (6-6) early and often. The Cougars roughed up Bowers to the tune of six runs — four earned — on nine hits over four innings, sending 22 batters to the plate in just four frames.
The loss leaves Bowers one win away from tying the Foresters’ career record.
Jerry Ferris, Spring Arbor’s top pitcher, shut down Huntington. Ferris tossed a complete-game shutout, scattering six hits and two runs while fanning four and issuing one free pass.
The Cougars made a loud statement in the first inning. Garrett Gordon blasted a three-run home run to deep left, and Spring Arbor rolled from there.
After scoring one run in the second, the Cougars plated two more in the third to take a commanding 6-0 advantage. Spring Arbor added one run apiece in the fifth through eighth innings, scoring in all but one frame.
Both of Huntington’s runs came on one swing of the bat: Eric Schultz lifted a screaming two-run homer to right field in the top of the eighth.
Josh Lanphier paced the Foresters at the plate, going 2-for-4. No other Huntington player had more than one knock.
Gordon finished 2-for-5 with four RBIs and a run scored for Spring Arbor, who had six players with multi-hit efforts.
Derek Brown was 3-for-5 and scored three times from the leadoff spot. Mitchel Patterson, Tyler Baker, Justin Forster and Mark Weist ripped two hits apiece. Forster belted a solo home run in the fifth.
Spring Arbor played top-seed Taylor Wednesday night.
Provided by Austan Kas, The Herald Press