MOUNT VERNON, Ohio – Grace College’s baseball team won game two of Saturday’s doubleheader after some extra-inning heroics. They split on the road against conference foe Mount Vernon Nazarene.
Game two was tied 6-6 entering the 10th inning with neither team able to take control.
Two walks in the top of the inning for Grace set the stage for Mitchell Enyart with two outs. He came through with a single to left field which scored the go-ahead run. Cameron Maxwell had a pinch-hit opportunity following the single, and he seized the moment, hitting his first collegiate home run leading the Lancers (13-22-1, 5-13 Crossroads League) to a 10-6 victory.
Game one of the doubleheader consisted of intense back-and-forth action. Mount Vernon (25-18, 10-9 CL) jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the first inning via a Yanni Patten single, a Jesse Staudt sacrifice fly and a passed ball.
It took a few innings for the Lancer bats to heat up, but they took a lead of their own in the third. Grace had runners on second and third with two outs; Austin Baker hit a line drive single to right field to score both runs. Xavier Harris followed with a two-run home run to left field.
Mount Vernon quickly responded in its half of the inning with a solo home run by Aaron Saal to tie the game at 4. The Cougars regained their lead after another solo home run.
David Anderson provided three key innings of relief for the Lancers. His effort kept Grace in the game with a chance to spark a comeback in the seventh, as the score remained 5-4.
With two quick outs to start the inning, Grace’s chances looked dim. Harris had other plans, as he launched his second home run of the game to tie the game at five.
The Cougars refused to allow the game to go to extra innings. A leadoff walk proved costly for Grace as the runner advanced to third after a ground ball and passed ball. A safety squeeze placed perfectly by Patten scored the winning run. Mount Vernon walked off 6-5.
Harris and Austin Baker led the offense for Grace as they were responsible for driving in every Lancer run scored in the game.
Anderson finished with three innings pitched, giving up one hit and one run for Grace.
Grace struck first for a change in game two. Austin Baker hit an RBI double to right field. He was followed by his brother Chase who drove in a second run with a sacrifice fly.
The Cougars didn’t allow the Lancers to hold the lead for long. Mount Vernon answered with two runs of its own in the bottom of the first.
With the bases loaded in the fourth inning and two outs, Gavin Bussard stepped up to regain Grace’s lead. His bases-clearing double put the Lancers in control 5-2. Hunter Ackerman added an insurance run with a solo home run to lead off the sixth.
Mount Vernon would not go away quietly. In its half of the sixth, a grand slam by Saal tied the game at six.
The game turned into a pitcher’s duel after the sixth. Aaron Voirol, Kyle Brunner, and Blake Converset combined to pitch 4.1 scoreless innings; only giving up two hits.
Enyart’s RBI and Maxwell’s home run was enough to seal game two for the Lancers with Brunner earning the win.
Austin Baker went 2-for-4 with an RBI, Enyart went 2-for-4 with two runs scored. Chase Baker had two walks with an RBI and run scored. Maxwell and Bussard led the team with three RBIs each.
Grace will look to win its first conference series in two years when they play Mount Vernon in a nine-inning game tomorrow. First pitch takes place at 11 a.m.