The Foresters stormed through the 2010 MCC Baseball
Tournament with a perfect record to claim the tournament championship as the fifth seed following a 3-2 win over Indiana Wesleyan in Wednesday's championship matchup.
In first round action the Foresters dominated Spring Arbor to steal the 8-0 win from the #2 Cougars. HU took advantage of Spring Arbor's rocky start to take a lead they would never relinquish in their first at-bats. After back-to-back Cougar errors and a single by Andrew Drummond to load the bases, Travis Frantz drew a walk to get HU on the board. RBI-singles by Eric Harpring and Jarod Hammel plated two more runs in the inning as the Foresters grabbed a 3-0 lead. HU added an insurance run in the seventh and Frantz capped off the win with a three-run blast to catapult the Foresters to the second round of the MCC tourney.
Mitch Bowers picked up the complete-game win for HU. He gave up ten hits and no walks while striking out seven. Harpring finished with three hits and an RBI to lead the Foresters at the plate. Frantz had a game-high four RBI.
Up against #3 Bethel in second round action, the Foresters came up with their second upset of the day with an 8-5 win over the Pilots. Schultz opened up play with a double to left and Drummond followed suit with a double to center to knock in Schultz for the first run of the game. Two RBI-singles by Frantz and Branock extended HU's lead to 3-0 after the first inning of play. The Pilots got one back in the next frame to close within 3-1 but the Foresters went to work in the fifth to extend their lead.
Shell started the fifth inning rally by drawing a base on balls, Drummond singled to right and then the hot-hitting Frantz delivered a shot to right to pick up two RBI. Branock's RBI-double finished a three-run inning as the Foresters took the 6-1 lead. Bethel closed the gap in the top of the eighth by scoring three runs on four hits and a Forester error but Huntington answered with two insurance runs in the bottom of the frame to push their lead back to 8-4. The Pilots scored a quick run in the ninth to give their fans a glimmer of hope but HU relief pitcher Ty Mills stepped in and got the job done to retire the inning and give the Foresters their second win of the day.
Ethan Tribolet recorded the win on the mound for HU. In 7 1/3 innings of work he gave up four runs on nine hits and one walk while striking out six. Schultz went 3-for-5 from the plate to lead the Foresters. Frantz finished with three RBI.
In semi-finals action the Foresters pulled off a thrilling come-from-behind 10-9 win over #6 Indiana Wesleyan to remain undefeated in the tournament.
After spotting the Wildcats a run through the first two innings of play, Schultz knotted things up 1-1 in the third with a solo shot to right. HU carried this momentum into the fourth as they exploded for four runs. Chris Menzie got things rolling with a two-out double. After Adam Christner's RBI-double, Schultz was intentionally walked and Shell picked up the base hit on a bunt to load the bases. Drummond then drilled one to right for a single to clear the bases and give HU the 5-1 lead. Wesleyan stormed back to score seven runs in the next two innings to go up 8-5 but Drummond's two-run RBI-single in the bottom of the sixth kept the Foresters within striking distance.
Down 8-7 heading into the eighth, the Foresters rallied on two to mount their come-for-behind win. Shell drew a walk to get things started. Drummond then singled to left-center and Travis Frantz loaded the bases with another free pass. Eric Harpring delivered the big blow with a three-run double to deep center to give HU the 10-8 advantage. The Wildcats got one back in the top of the ninth but it wouldn't be enough as Brian Kirschbaum came on in relief of Cody Walters to pick up the save.
Tyler Palmer picked up the win for HU giving up four runs on six hits and one walk while striking out two. Drummond collected three hits and five RBI to lead HU at the plate.
Just over 24 hours after taking down Indiana Wesleyan in the semifinals, the Foresters had to turn around and play the Wildcats again in the championship game. HU struck first in the fourth. After Frantz reached base on a throwing error and Jarod Hammel singled to left, the Foresters got a clutch two-out single from Josh Lanphier to knock in HU's first run of the evening. They picked up two more runs in the sixth. It was Frantz again who started the rally with a single to left and Harpring followed with an RBI-double to make it 2-0. Branock then extended HU's lead to 3-0 with a single to center to drive in Harpring. The Wildcats kept things interesting by getting two back in the bottom of the frame but it wouldn't be enough as the Foresters' defense made the necessary plays to hold Wesleyan at bay.
Bowers picked up his second win of the tourney by giving up two runs on five hits and one walk while striking out two. Schultz, Frantz and Lanphier each collected two hits to lead the way for the Foresters at the plate.
The Foresters (31-20) receive the league's automatic bid to the NAIA National Championship Opening Round on May 18-21. Site and bracket information will be released by the NAIA on Friday, May 14.