MOUNT VERNON, Ohio - It was another Crossroads League split for the HU baseball team as they claimed a 7-6 decision over the Cougars of Mount Vernon Nazarene University in the opener before being shutout 4-0 in the nightcap on Saturday.
The Foresters move to 7-15 overall, 7-5 in conference play.
Despite being outhit by MVNU 15-11 in game one, Huntington was more efficient offensively and took advantage of two Cougar errors to grab the victory.
Blake Ayers knocked in the winning run on his way to going a perfect 4-for-4 from the plate to pace the Foresters. Adam Christner also added a pair of hits.
After scoring a run each of the first two innings on a Josh Lanphier RBI-fielder’s choice and Mount Vernon fielding error, the Foresters erupted for four runs in the third to take a commanding 6-0 lead.
Ayers set the stage with an infield single, advanced to second on a wild pitch and then came around to score when Jamon Hammel singled him in with a shot through the left side. Two batters later, Hammel took advantage of the Cougars’ second miscue, a throwing error, to scamper home. Bryce Anderson capped things off with his 13th base poke of the season to drive in the final two runs of the rally for the 6-0 advantage.
Much to the dismay of its visitors, MVNU stormed back in the next two innings, piecing together nine hits to log six runs to stalemate things at 6-6 by the bottom fifth.
But HU got the lift they needed from Ayers in the very next inning when he registered the game-winner by doubling in Jordan Klopfenstein, who had walked to open the inning.
Kyle Zerfas recorded his first win of the season, relieving starter pitcher Xyan Adkisson after four innings. In 1.1 innings on the mound, Zerfas gave up four hits while striking out one before Brian Kirschbaum closed out the contest to pick up the save. He tossed the last 1.2 innings of the contest, striking out his first two batters before working a 1-2-3 seventh inning.
For as hot as the Foresters were at the plate in the opener, they were equally as cold in the nightcap as Justin Brown effectively shut down HU’s offense by limiting his visitors to six hits and preventing anyone from touching home.
No one tallied multiple hits for Coach Frame’s squad but Hammel finished with a triple and Anderson added a double in the losing effort.
John Ripke was tagged with the loss. He gave up nine hits, four runs and two walks while striking out two in 5.1 innings on the mound before Blake Hohlbein tossed the final two outs.
The Foresters host the Cougars on Tuesday for a 4:30 p.m. doubleheader.