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HU baseball one game away from championship game

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HUNTNGTON, Ind. - The Huntington baseball team (27-14) has now won three straight games to scratch and claw their way back into contention for a Crossroads League Tournament title. After a win over IWU on Monday night, the Foresters played back-to-back games on Tuesday that included a 22-3 mutilation of Bethel and a 4-1 decision over 3rd-seeded Spring Arbor (28-16).

Having lost to the 7th-seeded Pilots (18-27) in the opening round on Saturday, it was sweet revenge for 2nd-seeded HU in the opener as they made it loud and clear that they weren’t about to get upset again. The 22-3 win is Huntington’s largest margin of victory since March 18, 2008, when the Foresters Beat Ohio Dominican 27-2.

The Foresters punished the Pilot pitching staff for 23 hits and seven walks in a game that was never in question for Coach Frame and crew. Shea Beauchamp was the man of the hour as he blasted a shot over the left field fence with bases loaded in the top of the second to secure his third dinger in two days. HU had tallied two runs prior so his mighty swing added four more to up the early lead to 6-0.

Beauchamp would go on to tally one more hit and an RBI to finish with two hits and five RBI in his three plate appearances. The sophomore slugger wasn’t the only one to post some impressive numbers as Dalton Combs went a perfect 5-for-5 to drive in two runs.

Dylan Henricks, Nate Stark, Andy Roser and TJ Lindstrand each registered three hits. Lindstrand also finished with three RBI while the other three each drove in at least one run.

Avery Sneed had his shining moment in the eighth when he sent his third pitch over the right field fence for a two-run shot.

When all was said and done, HU scored in all but two of the nine-inning contest build their monster lead by game’s end.  

Brock Gower tossed the first seven innings to log the win. He gave up seven hits, one run and a walk while striking out two.

With less than an hour’s break, the Foresters took the field again to face SAU. Freshman Tarrin Beachy (4-1) went the distance to pick up the complete-game win. He pitched a gem to surrender just four hits, one run and three walks while striking out five. In 43.2 innings in the circle this season, the rookie boasts a 1.03 ERA.  

Beachy had more than enough support offensively as Combs and Mike Crowley each knocked in a run in the opening frame to give the Foresters a permanent lead. Combs would go on to add an insurance run in the sixth when he sent his first pitch over the right field fence for his third four-bagger of the season. Stark added to the advantage by doubling in a run in the following inning to round out HU’s scoring.

The Cougars logged their lone run in the top of the second and never really threatened again as they managed just two hits the rest of the way.

Combs finished with two hits and two RBI to pace his team at the plate. Stark and Crowley each drove in a run to go along with two hits apiece. Lindstrand also finished with a pair of base pokes. As the team, the Foresters tallied 12 hits.  

HU will face the Cougars again on Wednesday at noon in an elimination game with the winner advancing to the championship game to face top-seeded Mount Vernon at 6 p.m. at Taylor University. MVNU has already secured an automatic berth to nationals as the regular season champs so the winner of tomorrow’s noon game will secure the conference’s second automatic bid to the big dance.

The Huntington University Foresters compete in 16 intercollegiate sports for men and women. In the past decade, Huntington has produced 38 NAIA All-America honors and 222 All-America Scholar Athlete honors. Huntington University is a comprehensive Christian college of the liberal arts offering graduate and undergraduate programs in more than 70 academic concentrations. U.S.News & World Report ranks Huntington among the best colleges in the Midwest.