MONTGOMERY, Ala. – An 11-hour drive, a different time zone, and temperatures in the low 90s proved to be non-factors for the red-hot Foresters baseball team as they opened up play in the NAIA Opening Round baseball tournament on Monday. HU posted a 12-6 win over the #2-seeded St. Thomas University Bobcats (FL) at Harrison Field on Faulkner University’s campus. Coach Frame’s crew came in to the tournament as the #3 seed in the Montgomery bracket carrying a 34-11 overall record.
As has been the case for the Foresters this season, they wasted no time scoring early and scoring often. After a double to right-center from Adam Roser, senior slugger Shea Beauchamp put Huntington on the board with a two-run blast over the left-center field wall to give HU the early 2-0 advantage. That lead proved to be short-lived, though, as St. Thomas’s Palenzuela delivered a two-run shot of his own in the Bobcats’ half of the 1st inning.
Roser helped HU regain the lead in the 2nd by delivering his second two-bagger of the game down the right field line to bring around Will Coursen-Carr, who reached on a walk earlier in the inning. St. Thomas added three more runs of their own over the next four innings while keeping HU’s bats at bay.
A Bobcat pitching change in the top of the 7th was just the spark HU needed. Beauchamp opened the inning by wearing a pitch on his left shoulder which was followed by a Dylan Henricks seeing-eye single to left center. By way of a two-out, three-run home run to left field off the bat of Coursen-Carr, HU regained the lead and would not let it go. Tyler Zimske followed the home run with a stand-up double and would come around to score in the same frame to give HU a 7-5 lead.
The Forester bats continued to baffle STU’s pitching staff. Two more timely hits, this time from the bat of senior third-baseman, Andy Roser, accounted for four of HU’s final five runs in the 8th and 9th innings to help them cruise to the 12 – 6 finale. Roser finished the day with two hits and 4 RBI. His brother, Adam Roser collected three hits, two for extra bases. Henricks finished the night with two hits and Coursen-Carr tallied two hits as well as three RBI. Tarrin Beachy got the win on the mound for HU for his fifth win of the season. He came on in relief for starter, Mason Shinabery, who gave up five runs on nine hits over 4 1/3 innings. Beachy tossed a masterful 2 1/3 innings, allowing one run on four hits. Caleb Landrum pitched the final 1 1/3 inning, allowing zero runs on zero hits to close the game. Here is what Coach Frame had to say about his team’s performance: “I didn’t think we were great today, but we just kept grinding out at-bats. Mason kept us in the game and Tarrin and Caleb gave us a lift in relief. St. Thomas is an outstanding team and we feel fortunate to get the win.”
With their game 1 win, HU stays in the winner’s bracket and will face #1 seed Faulkner University on Tuesday at 4:30 pm EDT.
The Huntington University Foresters compete in 17 intercollegiate sports for men and women. In the past decade, Huntington has produced 38 NAIA All-American honors and 254 All-American 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.