HU diamond men perfect art of comeback in twinkilling of Cumberlands

Photo provided.
Shea Beauchamp

The Huntington University baseball team perfected the art of the comeback in a pair of narrow wins over host University of the Cumberlands on Saturday, March 4.

The Foresters overcame a 6-1 deficit in the opening game and a 7-6 margin in the nightcap to post wins of 9-7 and 9-8, respectively, and improve to 4-5.

The opener saw the Patriots build their 6-1 lead on the Foresters in the game’s first three innings. Coach Mike Frame’s squad kicked off its comeback in the sixth, scoring four times to shrink Cumberlands’ lead to a single run. Huntington then deadlocked the contest in the seventh before seizing the lead in the eighth.

In the extra inning, senior Dalton Combs singled and advanced to second after sophomore Adam Roser bunted and reached first. Senior Shea Beauchamp then stepped up to the plate and smacked the ball over the left-field fence, giving the Foresters their first lead of the game, 9-6.

Closer Caleb Landrum took the mound in the bottom of the frame and protected that lead for Huntington. The sophomore yielded three hits and an earned run with a walk and a strikeout to record the save, his second of the season.

Conner West picked up the win for the Foresters. The second-year player, 1-0, limited the Patriots to a single hit in four innings of relief. He issued just one walk and fanned five.

Huntington banged out 14 hits in support of its hurlers. Sophomore Adam Roser and junior Andrew Natividad logged three base pokes apiece, with Natividad also batting in a run. Senior Michael Crowley and sophomore Tyler Zimske each registered two hits while Will Coursen-Carr produced a double and two runs batted in.

The Foresters hung the Patriots’ Nicholas Purpera with the loss. Purpera tossed 1.1 innings of relief, surrendering five hits and three earned runs while striking out three.

Kevin Pantoja paced the Cumberlands offense with three hits, one of which was a homer, and two RBI.

In the second game, Huntington took a 6-2 lead in the first two frames, but Cumberlands mounted a comeback over the following three innings and snatched the lead, 7-6, by the end of the fifth.

Luckily for the Foresters, their bats came back to life in the sixth. Combs kicked off the frame with a single and took second after a one-bagger by senior Adam Roser. Just as he had in the previous game, Beauchamp again came through in the clutch, belting a double to deep center field that plated his teammates.

Later in the inning, with two outs recorded, Crowley, who reached base on a single, scored on a bases-loaded walk by the Patriots’ Colton Easterwood, which gave the visitors a 9-7 advantage.