Foresters 6-2 on swing south

 For the ninth time, the Foresters headed south to Daytona Beach for their spring break trip to take on what is customarily some of the season's toughest competition. This time the quality of the teams was no different, but HU's results were. The Foresters went 6-2 for the week, their best effort by far in their nine year history.

The Foresters opened up play with a doubleheader against Aquinas College, a NAIA World Series participant last year. HU dropped game one 10-4, but got a tremendous effort on the mound from freshman Drew Taylor to earn the split with a 7-1 victory in game two. Taylor went the distance for the Foresters giving up one unearned run on six hits with four strikeouts and three walks. Keith Benbow led the Foresters at the plate with three hits including a double.

Against the University of Rio Grande, HU pounded out 19 hits on their way to the 15-6 win. Benbow continued to swing a hot bat collecting four hits in the game including his second homerun of the season. Adam Farris had four RBI to led the squad. Michael Dalton came on in relief of Ryan Roth in the fifth inning to earn his first win of the season. Dalton allowed two runs on two hits and he struck out four in four and a third innings of work.

In game four, the Foresters scored eight runs in the middle third of the nine-inning contest to put away West Virginia Tech 11-4. Levi Sell (1-1) took over for Trent Huffman in the second inning and went five and a third innings to pick up his first victory. He gave up a run on four hits and three walks while striking out four. Andy Janzen had four hits and three RBI to pace the Foresters at the plate.

The Foresters then met NAIA 29th-ranked Olivet Nazarene University for a doubleheader. The Foresters tried to rally from a 4-1 deficit, but came up just short in the 4-3 loss in the opener. In the nightcap, HU's Taylor threw another complete-game gem to lead the Foresters to the 3-1 win. Taylor (2-1) gave up one earned run and one free pass in seven innings and struck out one. HU got singles from Benbow, Austan Kas and Janzen and a sacrifice fly from Korey Grow to plate two runs in their first at-bat and added an insurance run on a sac fly from Blake Hindsley in the fourth.

Next up for HU was a strong Missouri Baptist University squad who entered the game with an impressive 18-4 record on the season. MBU got on the scoreboard first with a run in the third, but the Foresters countered with one in the fourth and then took the lead with another in the fifth. The Spartans reclaimed the lead with two in the top of the sixth, but then committed a couple costly errors in the bottom half to allow HU to regain a 4-3 advantage. Roth (1-2) then held MBU scoreless in the seventh and for two-thirds of the eighth and then handed the ball to Grow who closed out the final inning and a third for his first save of the year. Grow also banged out four hits in the game to lead the Forester offense.

In their final match-up, Dalton (2-0) pitched a three-hit shutout against Ohio Dominican University, another 2005 NAIA World Series participant, to lift the Foresters to the 1-0 victory. HU got the game-winner in the bottom of the third when Benbow led off with a single. Kas bunted him to second and he took third on a wild pitch. Thad Frame the knocked him in on a fielder's choice ground out. Janzen was the lone Forester with two hits in the game.

After going 6-2 for the trip, the Foresters evened their record at 7-7 on the season.


Heather Barkley
Director of Communications
Joanne Green
Sports Information Director