The Foresters traveled to Tennessee to begin their spring season. They were shutout 4-0 in their opener by Missouri Baptist University (MBU) and then dropped a doubleheader to Union University 8-5 and 9-8 in 13 innings.
In the opener, the Spartans plated two in their first at-bat on a two-out homerun by Kelly Smith and they added another run in the fourth and the sixth to put the game out of reach. HU managed just two singles in the shutout. Michael Dalton (0-1) went the distance in the loss for the Foresters. He gave up four runs on four hits and five walks with seven strikeouts.
The Foresters then took on Union University in a doubleheader to finish the day. In game one, the Bulldogs owned a 4-1 lead through three innings. HU put together four runs on four hits including two-run singles by Andrew Drummond and Ryan Shell in the top of the fourth to go on top 5-4. The lead was short-lived though as Union answered with three in its half of the fourth and they sealed it with one more in the fifth.
Korey Grow led HU at the plate with two hits and Keith Benbow got his first round-tripper of the season in the third inning. Eric Randel (0-1) took the loss for the Foresters. He went four innings and gave up seven earned runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out two.
In the nightcap, things got off to a wild start. HU scored once in the top of the first on a dropped fly ball, but the Bulldogs took advantage of seven hits and a Forester error to plate seven in their first at-bat. Things looked bleak for HU when Union made it 8-1 with another score in the second, but the Foresters didn't go away.
In the top of the third, Drummond and Thad Frame both chipped in two-run doubles as part of a five-hit, seven-run inning to knot the score at 8-8. The two teams then battled through nine scoreless innings until Bulldogs' lead-off hitter Grant Luke ended the contest with a one-out walk-off homerun in the bottom of the thirteenth.
The game was not without controversy though. HU's Thad Frame appeared to score what would have been the game-winner in the top of the eighth on a single by Austan Kas, but was called out for missing third base on his way home from second.
Grow (0-1) pitched the final five and a third innings in the loss for the Foresters. He allowed one run on one hit and one walk while striking out five. Frame paced HU at the plate with two hits, two runs scored and two RBI.
“We played pretty well on the day, considering the weather, the fact we had not been outside and the quality of the competition," said Coach Frame. "The ruling by the umpire in the eighth inning that our runner missed third base was certainly one of the more questionable calls in my 24 years of coaching."