This past Tuesday, the Goshen College baseball team lost both ends of another close double header to the visiting University of Saint Francis. The Maple Leafs fell 5-4 and 5-2 against the Cougars, and moved to 9-29 overall (3-13) in conference.

This defeat came just a day after a 6-5 loss to Defiance College—a game that went back and forth between the Maple Leafs and the Yellow Jackets. Although Goshen eventually lost, they finished the game with fewer errors and more hits.

Slow starts have plagued the Maple Leafs all season. In the first two innings this season, Goshen was outscored by their opponents 40-90.  First-year Mike Milligan said, “We need to start coming out with our guns blazing in the first inning, instead of having to play catch up all game.”

As the final score hints, the opener of the double header against Saint Francis was a close game throughout. Fitting the pattern of the season, the Cougars were first on the scoreboard, with a single run scored in the first inning. It wasn’t until the fourth that the Leafs pulled one back to tie it up through an RBI double by senior Sean Sears.

The game went into extra innings, with the score tied at 2. But in the top of the eighth, Saint Francis jumped ahead with three runs off of four hits. Although they scored two more runs, Goshen could not pull off the victory, and the Cougars came away with the 5-4 victory. Senior Kraig Miller and Sears each went 3-for-4 in this game, and seven separate Maple Leafs managed a hit.

Although Goshen scored the first run of the second game, they were not able to overcome the four-run fourth inning by Saint Francis. This inning ended up being the critical point in the game, as the Cougars held on for the 5-2 win. Junior Zach Reed was 2-for-4 and had an RBI in the nightcap.

The Maple Leafs will continue their stretch of home games when they host Indiana University – Northwest Thursday at 5 p.m. They then play a double header against the Redhawks on Saturday at 12 p.m. Goshen doesn’t play another conference game until the April 24, when they travel to Bethel College to compete in yet another double header.