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HU logs two impressive come-from-behind wins over the Patriots

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WILLIAMSBURG, Ky. - Clutch hitting by the Forester baseball team was key to a pair of impressive come-from-behind wins, 9-7, 9-8, Saturday afternoon against The University of the Cumberlands at James Keelty Field. With these wins, HU improves to 4-5 on the year while the Patriots drop to 13-5.

The Patriots spent the first three frames of game one building a 6-1 advantage but the tides officially turned in the sixth when Mike Crowley led off with a double down the left field line. Three batters later with the bases loaded, Will Coursen-Carr unloaded for a two-run double to cut the lead in half after which two more runs came by way of a Jamar Weaver RBI-groundout and passed ball to make for a 6-5 contest.

Drew McLochlin drove in the game-tying run in the top of the seventh when he found a hole in shallow right to bring in pinch runner TJ Lindstrand. It sent the game to extra innings where Shea Beauchamp came up big for the Foresters.

After back-to-back hits by Dalton Combs and Adam Roser, the senior first baseman blasted a shot over the left field fence on a 1-2 count to put his team on top 9-6. The Patriots would get one back in their half of the eighth but would get no closer as Beauchamp’s three-run dinger distanced HU for the win.  

The Foresters outhit Cumberlands 14-9 with Roser and Andrew Natividad each logging three hits. Natividad also finished with an RBI while Tyler Zimske and Crowley added two base pokes apiece.

Connor West, the second of three Forester pitchers, had an impressive outing in the circle to pick up the win. In four innings of work, he gave up just one hit and a walk while striking out five. Caleb Landrum took the mound in the eighth, giving up three hits, one run and a walk while striking out one, for the save.

The top of HU’s order came through for the visitors in the nightcap as the first five batters accounted for 12 of their team’s 14 hits in another thrilling ending that favored Coach Frame and crew.

This time, however, Huntington didn’t wait until the latter innings to get their bats going. The Foresters sent nine batters to the plate in the first frame where they hammered out four hits to the tune of five runs. Beauchamp and Crowley posted RBI-singles to account for the first three runs after Combs and Roser opened up with a pair of hits. Coursen-Carr and Natividad followed up with run-scoring groundouts to tack on two more runs for the early 5-0 lead.

The Patriots got two back in their half of the inning and then methodically chipped away at the lead to outscore their visitors 5-1 over the next four frames to scoot in front 7-6 heading into the sixth where the Foresters went back to work to reclaim the lead.

It started out much like the first with Combs and Roser leading off with base pokes before Beauchamp drove them both home for the go ahead. Several batters later, Drew McLochlin added what many assumed would be an insurance run when he drew a walk with bases loaded but it proved to be the game-winning play as the Patriots touched home once in the seventh to pull within one before Landrum worked the final out to not only deny Cumberlands any sort of heroic comeback but also pick up the win.

The sophomore hurler tossed the final two frames and gave up two hits and a run while striking out three.

Beauchamp finished with three hits, three RBI and scored a run to pace HU offensively. Combs and Roser also registered a trio of hits which included a four-bagger in the second by Combs while Crowley added two hits, scored twice and drove in two runs.

Unfortunately, Huntington didn’t fare so well in their first outing against the Patriots on Friday afternoon. Zimske’s long ball in the top of the seventh proved to be HU’s only run-producing offense.

The rookie sent his first pitch over the left field fence to knot things up at 1-1. It had been relatively quiet up until that point as the game’s only other run came at the bat of Cumberland’s Landon Byron who logged a solo shot in the bottom of the second.

But the stalemate was short-lived as the Patriots took advantage of two HU errors while hammering out two hits to plate two unearned runs in the bottom of the seventh to reclaim the lead and ride it out for the win.

Reliever Mason Shinabery took the loss on the mound for the Foresters. The Decatur native gave up five hits, two unearned runs and a walk in three innings of work.

Zimske finished with two of Huntington’s six hits to lead his team offensively. 

The Foresters take a break from the action until the head south for spring break.

The Huntington University Foresters compete in 17 intercollegiate sports for men and women. In the past decade, Huntington has produced 38 NAIA All-America honors and 254 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.