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#RV Foresters come up short in season-opener

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EMERSON, Ga. - The #RV Forester baseball team headed down south to kick-off their season for a weekend series with Reinhardt University. It wasn’t the start HU had hoped for as they opened up with a pair of losses, 8-5, 8-3, on Friday.

Playing at LakePoint, an offsite venue, because of inclement weather, the Foresters seemed to pick up where they left off last season with some early offense. Huntington set a new program record last year for homeruns in a season with 54 and Frame’s crew is already chasing that record as their first four runs came on two mighty swings.

Daniel Lichty, in his first collegiate at bat, led off the second with a solo shot deep into right for an early 1-0 advantage. Three batters later, after an Adrian Perez single and Andrew Natividad double, Jake Hansen cleared the bases with a three-run blast to left for a 4-0 tilt.

The Eagles, with six games already under the belt, hammered out four of their 12 hits in the third to plate three runs with the equalizer coming in the next frame for a 4-4 tie after four. Timely hitting in the sixth by the hosts which included the game’s only three-bagger resulted in three more runs on the scoreboard for RU’s first lead of the day.

The lead proved permanent as both teams found home in the eighth, HU’s run coming on Perez’s RBI-single, to make for the 8-5 final.

Connor West earned Huntington’s first start of the season. The leftie hurler tossed the first 5.1 innings and gave up eight hits, six runs and three walks while striking out five in the losing effort before giving way to Tarrin Beachy who pitched the final 2.2 innings.

Huntington registered eight hits on the afternoon with Perez collecting three of them to go along with an RBI.  

The nightcap got off to a similar start as the Foresters were the first score, this time two runs in the first. Donavan Clark opened up play with a double down the right field line. Adam Roser doubled him in before advancing to third on a wild pitch and then touching home on an infield single by Lichty.

Huntington’s lead would stick until the third when Reinhardt plated three runs to jump in front 3-2. Hansen drew his team even in the top of the fourth with an RBI-groundout but it was all Eagles after that. The hosts regained the lead in their half of the frame and then added four insurance runs in the fifth by piecing together three hits while taking advantage of a handful of walks and wild pitches.

Lichty and Perez each posted a pair of hits to account for four of their team’s six hits. Mason Shinabery was charged with the loss. He spent the first 4.2 frames in the circle where he gave up nine hits for eight runs. Trent Lawson and Jamar Weaver both spent time on the mound to close out the contest.

Weather permitting, the Foresters (0-2) will go head-to-head with the Eagles (4-4) for another doubleheader later this weekend.  

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 274 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.