After knocking off NAIA 9th-ranked Spring Arbor University in three of four contests, the Foresters had a defensive letdown committing a total of eight errors in 9-8 and 8-4 losses to the University of St. Francis.
In the opener, the Cougars scored an unearned run in their first at-bat, but HU jumped in front with three runs in the fourth thanks to two doubles, a single and two St. Francis errors. But things fell apart in the fifth as the Cougars crossed the plate seven times with five hits in the inning and a Forester miscue to give St. Francis a comfortable 8-3 lead. HU got two more in its half of the fifth, but gave one right back in the top of the sixth for a 9-5 deficit.
In their final at-bat, the Foresters came up with one last rally attempt. A Jarod Hammel single and back-to-back walks to Cody Richey and Eric Schultz loaded the bases. Hammel scored on a fielder's choice, and following a flyout by Edwin Rodriguez, Andrew Drummond drilled a two-out double to center to drive in Richey and Schultz. HU was back within one at 9-8, but Cougar pitcher Chase Gaff got Travis Frantz to ground out to the mound stranding the tying run at second.
Eric Randel went four and two-thirds innings in the loss for the Foresters. He allowed eight runs on eight hits and four walks while striking out two. Drummond and Rodriguez both had two doubles in the game to lead HU at the plate and Drummond finished with a team-high three RBI.
In the nightcap, things looked good for the Foresters early. In the bottom of the first, they put together six hits that led to four runs, but they would manage just one more hit over the remainder of the game. St. Francis scattered 10 hits and eight runs over the final six innings to slowly put HU away.
The Cougars tied the score with a pair of runs in both the second and third innings and took the lead for good with one in the fourth. They added two more in the sixth and one in the seventh to take down the Foresters 8-4.
Anthony Roth was the pitcher of record for HU. He threw five innings in the loss and gave up five runs on seven hits and three walks while striking out two.
The two losses drop the Foresters to 12-11 on the season and 5-3 in the MCC.