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Foresters polish off conference sweep

by Eric Andrews - eandrews@h-ponline.com

The Huntington University baseball team finished off a three-game sweep of Spring Arbor at Logansport High School, winning both games of Tuesday’s doubleheader to improve the Foresters’ season record to 9–6, including a 5–1 Crossroads League mark.

Huntington dominated the Cougars in the first game of the day, claiming an 8–0 victory, before scoring a comeback 6–4 win in game two.

After a scoreless first two innings of game one, the Forester offense exploded for four runs in the bottom of the third thanks to a RBI from senior right fielder Adrian Perez and two from freshman second baseman Ian McCutcheon. Perez scored the fourth run of the inning following a throwing error on McCutcheon’s hit to round out the scoring in the inning and give Huntington a 4–0 lead.

The Foresters tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. Sophomore third baseman Daniel Lichty tripled to start the frame and was brought in by junior first baseman Austin Pritchard, who reached second base following a wild throw on the fielder’s choice.

Pritchard added the second run of the inning after another wild throw on a Perez bunt, extending the Huntington lead to 6–0.

The Foresters finished their offensive output in the sixth inning, as back-to-back doubles by Lichty and Pritchard scored freshman left fielder Collin Landrum and Lichty, respectively, to give Huntington an 8–0 advantage, which proved to be the game’s ending score.

Junior pitcher Alex McCutcheon pitched five and two-third innings, allowing six hits and striking out two Cougars en route to the victory.

Junior pitcher Mason Shinabery finished off the win, recording four outs out hitless baseball along with two strikeouts.

Game two was much different, however, as Spring Arbor got out to a 4–0 lead thanks to a pair of runs in the third and fifth innings.

However, the Foresters promptly responded with four runs of their own in the bottom half of the fifth inning. After Landrum and senior center fielder Donovan Clark reached on walks in the first two at-bats of the inning, senior designated hitter Adam Roser plated both with a deep drive to right field.

Roser scored two at-bats later as Pritchard doubled. Alex McCutcheon came in to pinch run for Pritchard and scored on a batted ball by Ian McCutcheon, tying the score at 4–4.

The Foresters completed their comeback efforts in the seventh inning by adding two more runs when Pritchard and senior second baseman Andrew Natvidad scored on a triple by Ian McCutcheon to give Huntington a 6–4 lead.

Spring Arbor mustered just one hits over the final two innings, as the Forester defense closed out the 6–4 win to sweep the series.

Freshman pitcher Brent Turner got the start for Huntington and went four innings, giving up four hits and two runs.

Freshman pitcher Gabe Freeman came on in relief, tossing one and two-third innings while allowing three hits and two runs and striking out one Cougar.

Shinabery polished off game two as well, throwing three and one-third innings of near-perfect baseball. Shinabery struck out two Spring Arbor batters and gave up just one hit while shutting out the Cougars down to stretch to seal the victory and earn the win on the mound.

Huntington will return to the field this weekend for a three-game series against Bethel in Mishawaka, Indiana. Game one of the series is slated for a 3 p.m. start on Friday, while the teams will play a doubleheader on Saturday beginning at 1 p.m.