#6 Foresters advance to day two of CL tourney by knocking out #7 Bethel
Christner's homer sets tone in HU's bounce back win
MARION, Ind. - With only a twenty minutes break after their 14-inning loss to Mount Vernon, the 6th-seeded HU baseball team bounced back to overpower 7th-seeded Bethel College 7-2 at Indiana Wesleyan’s Wildcat Field Wednesday afternoon in second round action of the Crossroads League tournament.
Adam Christner set the tone when he crushed one over the left-center fence in the top of the first to give his team an early 1-0 lead that would never really be challenged.
Huntington went on to outhit the Pilots 13-7 with four of those base pokes coming in the third when they extended the lead to 5-0. Blake Ayers drove in the first run of the frame with a double, while Jamon Hammel and Dustin Rutledge each added an RBI single up the middle to tally one and two RBI respectively.
Bethel got two back in the fifth but the Forester matched that in the sixth to build the lead back to a five-run spread. Rutledge logged his second hit of the contest, a double down the left field line, to start things off and eventually came around to score on a Christner RBI-single. Josh Lanphier then got into the action when he knocked in Christner with a double, his team’s third of the contest.
Kyle Zerfas (4-1) held Bethel in check through the first seven innings to pick up the win in the circle by giving up five hits, two runs and one walk while striking out two. He currently ranks 3rd in NAIA Division I in total walks allowed (5), 5th in total runs allowed (11) and 6th in total hits allowed (33). Blake Hohlbein worked two innings of scoreless relief.
Christner finished 3-for-5 from the plate with two of those hits going for extra bases. He also scored twice and drove in two runs to fuel the Foresters offensively while Ayers, Klopfenstein, Hammel and Rutledge each collected a pair of hits to add to their firepower.
The Foresters (12-24) are back in action today at 3:00 p.m. when they take on the loser of #2 Spring Arbor and #3 Mount Vernon.