KALAMAZOO – The Grace College baseball team had a strong showing at Western Michigan on Wednesday.
The Lancers (2-7) produced eight hits but were unable to string those into runs in a 9-1 loss.
Austin Baker had a team-high three hits on four at-bats, and Jamar Bray scored the lone run of the game for Grace in the nine-inning contest.
The Broncos (1-3) plated a run in five separate innings and had 16 hits overall.
Grace started the game with confidence, picking up a hit in the first inning off the bat of Xavier Harris. The Lancers were unable to move Harris off first base.
The Broncos homered on the first at-bat of the bottom of the first and never trailed again. Western Michigan pulled ahead 5-0 after two innings.
Austin Baker got the first of his three hits in the fourth inning with a two-out single. He scampered over to second base on a wild pitch but was stranded there after a strikeout.
In the fifth inning, Grace picked up two baserunners. Jason Stevens singled, and Matthew Warren walked. But the Broncos escaped the threat by getting the final two Grace batters to strike out looking.
Western Michigan eventually eased ahead 9-0 after the end of six innings.
Grace got on the scoreboard in the top of the seventh. Bray singled up the middle to lead off the inning. Gabe Douglass stepped up to pinch hit and came up with a single to the outfield.
With two runners on, Hunter Ackerman hit the third single of the inning, and Bray came home to score on an error by the Broncos’ infield.
Grace seemed poised to score again in the eighth inning when pinch runner Ethan Brooks reached second base on a wild pitch, but he was left there on a strikeout to end the inning.
Joe Dougherty and Logan Swartzentruber each pitched a scoreless inning of relief to end the game.
Scottie Clark struck out three batters in an inning of work, and David Anderson also had three strikeouts in two innings from the mound.
The Lancers will end the week against Cleary on Friday and Saturday. The series will be played at Grand Park in Westfield, Ind.