MONTGOMERY, Ala. - Tuesday’s NAIA Opening Round Day Two matchup between the third-seeded Foresters and the top-seeded Eagles of Faulkner University was an old-fashioned pitchers’ duel, with Faulkner hanging on for the 3 – 0 win. While Coach McCarthy’s program is no stranger to success at the highest level, having played in the NAIA World Series in each of the past four seasons, Coach Frame’s squad held their own the entire duration of this afternoon’s contest.
Starting on the mound for HU was recently-named All-Crossroads League recipient, DJ Moore. The sophomore sensation from Ft. Wayne (Homestead HS) gave the Foresters a solid 6 1/3 innings while only giving up one earned run on six hits to a Faulkner team that averaged nearly nine runs per game. Moore received relief from senior lefty Will Coursen-Carr and junior right-hander Tarrin Beachy. Coursen-Carr and Beachy teamed up for the final 2 2/3 innings, allowing a total of three hits and one run. Moore took the loss for HU.
Faulkner’s starting pitcher was senior southpaw, Ivan Pelaez, who went 8 1/3 innings before Jonathan Wilkins came in for the save in the bottom of the ninth. A Dalton Combs single in the bottom of the first was HU’s only offensive spark until Michael Crowley led off with a stand-up double in the bottom of the eighth. HU threatened again in the ninth when Combs was hit by a pitch and Adam Roser punched a single through the right side of the infield, but the Foresters were unable to advance either runner around to score.
With today’s loss, HU’s road to Lewiston, Idaho, home of the Avista-NAIA World Series, got a little bit longer. Their next game will be an elimination game on Wednesday at 2:30 pm EDT where they will face #5 seed Truett McConnell University (Ga.) The winner of that game will go on to face Faulkner at 6:30 pm EDT on Wednesday night. An if-necessary championship game is scheduled for Thursday at 3:00 pm EDT should the winner of tomorrow’s 2:30 pm game defeat Faulkner at 6:30 pm.
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.