MISHAWAKA, Ind. - Playing some of their best ball of the season, the HU baseball team split with Bethel College at Jenkins Baseball Stadium Thursday afternoon to move to 17-19 overall, 12-10 in the MCC.
The Foresters picked up a 4-2 win in the opener before dropping a 9-7 decision in the nightcap.
Ethan Tribolet was spectacular on the mound to earn the complete-game victory and improve to 4-3 on the season. He allowed two runs, only one of which was earned, on two hits and two walks while striking out two.
The opener saw the Foresters get on the board first on an RBI sacrifice fly by Blake Ayers in their first at-bats. Bethel responded in the bottom of the second to deadlock things at 1-1 but it wasn't long before HU struck again.
The Foresters took the lead for good in the top of the fourth when Austin Drummond drove in Chris Menzie on a squeeze play. The visitors piled on two more runs in the fifth on a run scoring single up the middle by Brandon Van Matre and a misplayed grounder to grow their lead to 4-1. The Pilots got one back in the bottom of the sixth but it wouldn't be enough to challenge the Foresters' lead.
Jordan Klopfenstein, Menzie and Drummond each picked up a pair of hits. Drummond tallied an RBI while Klopfenstein and Menzie touched home one and two times respectively.
The nightcap was full of offense with the Pilots holding a slight 11-9 edge in hits but it was the Foresters' four errors that spelled doom for the visitors as it led to three unearned Bethel runs.
Anthony Roth started the game for HU and gave up six runs, five earned, on five hits and one walk while striking out one in the first inning for the loss before giving way to John Ripke who pitched 3.1 innings and allowed three runs, one earned. Brian Kirschbaum closed out the game holding the Pilots hitless over the final 1.2 innings.
HU stormed out of the gates to score five runs in the top of the first. Eric Schultz tallied the game's first RBI with a run scoring double. Josh Lanphier and Ayers followed suit with back-to-back RBI base pokes to plate a pair of runs and Drummond capped off the inning by driving in two more on a single to left to give HU a commanding 5-0 lead.
But the Pilots were quick to answer as they found home three times in their half of the frame highlighted by a two-run homer by Ethan Zartman to pull within two at 5-3. They went on to explode for a five-run second inning and tacked on another in the third to surge ahead 9-5.
Van Matre kept things interesting by doubling in two runs in the top of the fifth to narrow the deficit to 9-7 but it wouldn't be enough as the Pilots escaped the inning and proceeded to hold HU scoreless the final two innings to seal the win.
Schultz was a perfect 3-for-3 from the plate, scored a run and drove in another to pace HU offensively. Ayers added two hits and an RBI and run scored while Van Matre and Drummond each tallied a hit and two RBI.
The Foresters are back in action on Monday to face the Pilots at 5:00 p.m. for a doubleheader.