Sophomore catcher Chris Forsten’s first career homerun could not have come at a better time.
With the bases loaded and two out in the bottom of the sixth Sunday, Forsten crushed a hanging slider off the Plumeri Park scoreboard in left field to give the Tribe (13-6) a 17-13 victory over the Minutemen. The blast helped erase an 8-1 deficit and propelled the Tribe to win.
“Any chance with the bases loaded, you just want to do something for your team,” Forsten said. “Honestly, no one’s expecting me to hit a homerun in that situation. I just got a slider on the inside, got my hands to it, and hit it out.”
The Minutemen knocked around freshman starter Brett Goodloe, jumping out to an early 8-1 lead in the top of the third inning. Sophomore reliever Matt Davenport replaced Goodloe with one down in the third and silenced the Minutemen bats over four and a third innings to earn his fourth win of the season.
The game took a contentious turn in the bottom of the sixth when sophomore outfielder Stephen Arcure was called out for the use of an illegal bat. The umpires deemed Arcure’s bat too flat and called him out after he knocked a single off of Minuteman relief pitcher Bryan Leigh.
“The rules are what they are, and they say if an illegal bat is found after an illegal hit, the batter is out,” Head Coach Frank Leoni said. “The bat had gotten a dent on one side. I argued, ‘How do you know it didn’t happen on that hit?’ The umpire said it very well may have, but it doesn’t matter.”
Inspired by the incident, the College went on to win 17-13 to complete the series sweep after the Tribe won on Friday and Saturday. Freshman starter Brett Koehler earned the win on Saturday, allowing two runs while striking out four in six innings en route to the Tribe’s 7-4 victory.
Offensively, Forsten led the team Saturday with two RBIs on two hits. Junior shortstop Derek Osteen and junior second baseman Jonathan Slattery each added a pair of hits.
The Tribe kicked off the weekend with a 7-3 victory on Friday night. Freshman infielder Jackson Shaver went 3-for-3, complimenting a pair of homeruns from sophomore first baseman Tadd Bower and freshman third baseman Ryan Williams. Junior pitcher Logan Billbrough worked six and a third innings of three-hit ball while striking out a career-high nine hitters.
The series sweep was the third of the season for the College and left Leoni impressed with his young team.
“Let’s talk about how special we are, in my opinion,” Leoni said. “[Freshman outfielder] Derek Lowe made a play in the eighth inning, diving head- first with Tadd Bower leaping over him, and he gets up and throws a runner out at the plate. The score was 17-9. That’s how special this team is.”