By DAVID VANTRESS
THE GOSHEN NEWS
The Goshen College basebvall team has played good baseball at times so far in 2013, but not consistently enough to earn a Crossroads League victory.
That changed on Thursday afternoon in Goshen as the Maple Leage bested visiting Marian University, 9-3 in the first game of a doubleheader.
The Knights ralled from a 3-2 deficit to take the nightcap, 10-5 and earn a split.
Goshen coach Alex Childers was pleased to see his team’s recent hard work finally pay off.
“We put together a good game,” Childers said. “But since we play doubleheaders in the Crossroads League, now we need to put together a good day.”
That appeared to be happening in the second game, as the Maple Leafs (2-25 overall, 1-13 CL) got out to a 3-2 lead behind starter Matt Austin.
But Marian (6-13, 5-7) rallied with five runs in the top of the fifth to take control of the contest.
In the opener, the Maple Leafs had their bats in gear, as they pounded out 15 hits.
Goshen ralled from a 3-0 early deficit to post nine unanswered runs, tying it with three in the fourth and adding four more in the fifth.
With two outs in the bottom half of the third, things began to turn for the Leafs. They took advantage of a Marian error, getting RBI singles by Matt Austin and Jesse Quintanilla to knot the score at 3-3.
An inning later, Goshen created more of its own breaks.
The Maple Leafs pounded out six straight singles (Corey Johnson, Arick Armington, Benjamin Kelly, Paxson Miller, Caleb Yoder, and Jeremy Wiebe) rallying for four runs and a 7-3 lead.
Luke Hucker allowed just one earned run in his five-plus innings of work to earn the win, but got into a little bit of a jam in the top of the sixth, allowing the first two Marian batters to reach base.
Freshman Alex Mosbarger came on in relief and shut the door.
After striking out his first batter, he induced a groundout with Armington making a terrific spinning throw to gun down a runner at third.
A popout by the next hitter got the Leafs out of the inning with their four-run lead intact.
Goshen tacked on two more runs in the sixth on RBI hits by Kelly and Miller and it was more than enough to hold on for the victory.
Armington had another big game, going 3-for-4 with two doubles and two runs scored. Six different Maple Leafs tallied at least two hits as they finished with a the a forementioned season-high 15 hits.
Marian leadoff man John O’Malley led the visitors with a 3-for-4 game.
Childers hopes the first-game win is a sign of things to come for his scuffling squad.
“We’re getting better,” Childers said. “I hope this gives the guys some confidence.”
The Maple Leafs return to action on Saturday when they host Grace College in a Crossroads League doubleheader, the first of four straight games against the Lancers.
First pitch for the opener is scheduled for 1 p.m.