Five-Run Eighth-Inning Rally Keys Win Over MVNU
By Seth Wesman
Sports Information Intern
GOSHEN, Ind. — A 5-run eighth inning completed a 6-run comeback for the Goshen College baseball team Friday as the Maple Leafs took the first game of their three-game weekend series with Crossroads League opponent Mount Vernon Nazarene University 8-5 on Friday afternoon at Yoder Field.
Goshen (18-16-1, 7-6 Crossroads League) opened the scoring in with a pair of runs in the bottom of the fourth: Brad Stoltzfus and Vincent Caschera started the inning with walks, then scored on sacrifice flies by Clinton Stroble II and Ryan Hartig.
Mount Vernon Nazarene (21-15, 6-6) would take the lead with a 4-run sixth inning and added another run in the top of the seventh to take a 5-2 lead.
The Maple Leafs’ comeback began in the bottom of that same inning when Preston Carr singled home Colby Malson to cut the Cougars’ lead to 5-3.
Goshen used four hits, two walks and two errors to reverse the outcome in the eighth inning. Stroble led off with a single before Hartig doubled, putting the tying run in scoring position, from which it scored on an Armstrong single down the left-field line.
Armstrong took second base on a fielding error, then moved to third on a ground ball; an error and a walk later, Brad Stoltzfus came up with the bases loaded. Stoltzfus’ free pass, his third of the game, put GC in front 6-5. A Caschera single off the first-base bag set the final score.
The win over Mount Vernon Nazarene marked Goshen’s second all-time; the Maple Leafs were 1-18 in the series that started in the 1995 NAIA regional tournament and became a CL meeting in 2012.
Michael Walker got the start for the Leafs and pitched 5 ⅔ innings before Spenser Triplett was called in to finish the sixth inning. After Triplett pitched a scoreless seventh, Travis Grimm and Colby Malson pitched an inning apiece, with Walker and Grimm each striking out 3. Grimm was credited as the winning pitcher with Malson earning the save.
The Maple Leafs’ offense was led by Caschera and Armstrong who drove in 2 runs apiece. Carr, Stoltzfus, Stroble and Hartig all collected RBIs with 8 Leafs scoring runs in the contest.
Mount Vernon Nazarene’s Conner Clint threw 6 innings for the Cougars and allowed 2 runs on 2 hits with 4 strikeouts. Mark Rader and Curtis Williamson each pitched an inning with Williamson taking the loss, despite the fact that all three of the runs he allowed were unearned.
Corey Gould drove in a game-high 4 runs for Mount Vernon Nazarene. Three Cougars posted two hits each.
Goshen will be back in action on Saturday afternoon wrapping up the MVNU series with a doubleheader. First pitch in game one is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.