AUBURNDALE, Fla. - Riding a three-game win streak, the Forester baseball team ran up against a solid Trinity Christian College squad and dropped a pair of games, 6-5, 4-2, at the RussMatt Central Florida Invitational on Wednesday. The Foresters' record currently stands at 3-7.
The Trolls did all their damage in the first four innings against starting pitcher Tyler Palmer. He gave up six runs on seven hits and three walks while striking out three in the losing effort.
Trinity picked up four of their eight hits which included a two-run shot in the first two innings to build a 4-0 lead but the Foresters charged back in the third. Jordan Klopfenstein singled to short and eventually came around to score on a passed ball to pull HU within three. Huntington went on to plate two more runs on RBI pokes by Blake Ayers and Eric Schultz to close the gap 4-3.
TCC countered in the bottom of the frame with their fifth run of the game and then added what proved to the game-winner in the bottom of the fourth. HU didn’t go down without a fight and it was Klopfenstein who once again sparked the rally. After working a walk, the speedy left-fielder found himself on third by stealing second and them scurried to the corner on an errant Troll throw.
Ayers was hit by a pitch and then Schultz delivered a two-run triple to pull HU within one at 6-5 but they would get no closer as Troll pitcher Danny Britt retired seven of HU’s final eight batters to hang on for the win.
Schultz went 2-for-3 at the plate and drove in three runs. Adam Christner crossed home plate and collected a pair of hits while Ayers scored two runs and recorded a run-scoring double.
While HU scattered eight hits to the Trolls nine in the nightcap, Trinity was more efficient in scoring as they logged a 4-2 advantage to complete the sweep. John Ripke took the loss on the mound. In 4.2 innings of work, he gave up eight hits, three runs while striking out two. Wes Carroll came in for relief and gave up one run on one hit and three walks in the final 2.1 innings of play.
The Foresters jumped out to a 1-0 after their at-bats on an RBI-single by Brandon Van Matre but the Trinity quickly answered in the top of the second to knot the score at 1-1. It was a quiet two innings before the Trolls struck again in the top of the fifth by touching home twice on three hits and a Forester error to build a 3-1 lead.
After both teams traded runs in the sixth, HU kept things interesting by opening up the seventh with back-to-back singles but the Trolls maneuvered their way out of the inning to strand two Foresters on base and notch the win.
Klopfenstein picked up two hits while Dustin Rutledge and Van Matre each drove in a run.