FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Finally, the University of Saint Francis got some cooperation from Mother Nature to open the home portion of its 2014 baseball schedule, but the Cougars suffered their first to Crossroads League setbacks on an otherwise perfect day for baseball.
Huntington University, which entered the doubleheader at Cougar Field with an 0-8 CL record, delivered an 11-1 throttling to USF in Game 1 and in the process handed HU Head Coach Mike Frame his 700th career win. In Game 2, the Foresters eeked out a 2-1 decision for the sweep in the first meetings between HU and USF since the 2012 season.
The Game 1 loss snapped a five-game win streak for USF, now 2-2 in CL play and 6-15 overall. HU is 8-16 overall.
The Cougars will play two at HU on Tues., April 1, with Game 1 set to start at 4:30 p.m. at Forest Glen Park on the HU campus.
USF starter Kyle McKay and HU starter John Ripke locked horns for four innings and a deadlock at 1 before the Foresters unleashed a seven-run fifth against USF. The Foresters, which had dropped three consecutive games by shutout to Marian University before Monday’s games, lashed seven hits and capitalized on one USF error to take charge. HU added three runs in the sixth for a 10-run lead. The Cougars committed five errors in their first games since sweeping Bethel on March 22.
HU scored the game-winning run in the top of the seventh in Game 2 when Josh Garcia’s relay throw from second was in the dirt and late denying USF an inning-ending double play that allowed TJ Landstrand to score the winning run.
Tanner Foster led off the bottom of the seventh with a single, but after pinch-runner Kansas Varner advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt, Garcia struck out swinging and Boner flew out to right to end the game.
“When you don’t make the routine plays, you’re not going to win many college games,” USF Head Coach Greg Roberts said. “We just made too many mistakes and gave them extra chances.”
USF took a 1-0 lead in the fourth when Geoff Bowers single down the left field line to scored Zach Vanlandingham, who had reached first with out out after getting hit by a Blake Hohlbein delivery. HU got the run back to tie the game in the top of the fifth on an Austin Drummond groundout.