BRESCIA, Ky. – It wasn’t exactly how the HU baseball team (3-5) had hoped things would turn out as they headed down to Kentucky last weekend where they went 1-3 against Brescia University.
The first game on Saturday was a pitcher’s duel with John Ripke taking the loss after giving up two runs on eight hits and one walk while striking out four as the Foresters fell 2-1.
The Bearcats logged a run in the second and then notched what proved to be the game-winner in the following inning as HU’s offense was quiet until the sixth. With the bases loaded, Brock Gower picked up the lone RBI on a fielder’s choice to pull his team within one.
As a team, Coach Frame’s squad managed only five hits with Dylan Henricks going 2-for-4. Despite their lack of offensive firepower, the Foresters still had ample opportunities as they left nine batters stranded which included a seventh-inning rally that left two runners on base.
In the nightcap, Huntington put together a late-game rally, posting five runs in the fifth and sixth innings but seven errors got the best of the Foresters as it led to five unearned Bearcat runs and an 8-5 loss.
Brescia held onto a 2-0 lead through the first four innings before both teams came to life at the plate. Blake Ayers doubled to right to knock in a pair of runs to knot things up at 2-2 temporarily in the fifth before the Bearcats stormed back to plate three runs in their half of the frame to regain the lead at 5-2.
HU didn’t go down without a fight as they touched home three more times in the sixth by collecting three hits and taking advantage of two errors. TJ Landstrand reached on a bobble while two runs scored and then Michael Kempton followed up with a run-scoring poke to first deadlock the score at 5-5. But once again Brescia had an answer; this time by way of three hits and two HU errors to pile on three more runs for the win.
Blake Hohlbein started for HU and scattered six hits, two walks and five runs, two earned, over 4.2 innings before Drew McLochlin came in on relief. The freshman southpaw took the loss as he gave up one hit and three runs, one earned, in the bottom of the sixth.
Ayers, Henricks and Andy Roser each collected two hits for Huntington while Ayers and Landstrand each drove in two runs.
The Foresters came out swinging on Sunday as they hammered out 12 hits on their way to a 10-9 win.
It took HU an extra inning to log the win with Roser leading the way. He finished 4-for-5 at the plate with his biggest at-bat coming in the top of the sixth when he unleashed for a grand slam. He also tallied a run-scoring double in the third and scored the winning run in the top of the eighth after opening up the frame with his second double of the day.
Ayers also came up big at plate, collecting three hits to go along with two RBI. Dalton Combs tallied two hits and scored two runs while Jared Green was credited with two RBI.
Having enjoyed a 3-0 lead after three innings of play, HU found themselves in a 5-3 hole two innings later as the Bearcats scored four runs in the fourth and added another in the fifth before Roser’s sixth-inning heroics put his team back on top 7-5.
The game was far from over as Brescia got one back in their half of the frame before another frenzy of activity in the seventh. Ayers logged both his RBI on a single to left to pad the score 9-6 but the Bearcats took advantage of three hits and two wild throws to score knot things up at 9-9 in that same inning, sending the game to extra innings where Green knocked in Roser on a fielder’s choice for the win.
Errors plagued both teams as HU gave up three unearned runs on five miscues while the Bearcats committed six errors to the tune of two unearned runs.
Marc Bowers pitched the final 2.2 innings to pick up his first win of the season. He gave up five hits, three runs, two of which were earned, and two walks while striking out three. Gower started and gave five runs, four earned, in 4.1 innings of work before being relieved by McLochlin who gave up a run in an inning on the mound.
The Bearcats closed out the series with a 7-4 in the nightcap.
Derek McKinney took the loss for Huntington as he gave up nine hits, seven runs and five walks while striking out four in six innings of work.
Down 3-0 after the Bearcats’ first at-bats, HU strung together four hits in the third and took advantage of two hit batters and a wild throw to draw even with their hosts. Gowers drove in the first run with a single up the middle, Sneed scored on a wild throw and Green topped things off with an RBI-infield single.
Three innings later, Roser’s sacrifice fly brought Ayers, who had singled earlier in the inning, around to score. The Bearcats got that run back in their half of the frame and then retired HU’s first three batters in the seventh to cruise to their third win of the weekend.
Ayers, Henricks and Gower posted two hits apiece in the losing effort.