WINONA LAKE – Three home runs were not enough for the Grace College baseball team on Thursday as the Lancers lost twice to Taylor.
Grace dropped an action-packed opener 11-5 before losing 13-1 in the second game.
The first inning of the opener was filled with runs. Taylor benefitted from a two-out error to go ahead 2-0, but Grace responded.
Cameron Maxwell singled and Houston Haney doubled to lead off the bottom of the first. Austin Baker then launched a three-run home run to make the score 3-2 in Grace’s favor.
Taylor’s offense continued its assault, scoring in the next three innings to climb ahead 7-3, but again the Lancers (5-24, 5-10 Crossroads League) battled back with the long ball.
Gabe Douglass reached base to lead off the fourth, and Jaron Mullett belted a two-run dinger over the fence for his first career home run.
The Trojans (29-10, 9-5 CL) kept Grace off the scoreboard for the rest of the game, however, and tacked on four insurance runs for the final six-run margin of victory.
Mullett batted 2-for-3 with a run and two RBIs, and Baker had three RBIs and a run. David Anderson struck out six batters in five innings, giving up five runs as the starter.
The Lancers struggled to string together their hits in the second half of the twin bill. Grace had eight hits but stranded nine baserunners.
Grace had two runners on base with one out in the second inning and came up empty. Taylor made good on its chances, pulling ahead 6-0 after four innings.
The lead blossomed to 11-0 after a five-run sixth inning from Taylor, sparked by three doubles.
Grace managed to get on the scoreboard in the bottom of the inning thanks to a solo homer from Anderson, but the Lancers ended the inning with two more baserunners abandoned.
Anderson was a bright spot offensively, going 3-for-3 with a double and a home run, and Mullett continued his strong day with a 2-for-3 outing from the plate.
Grace will end the series with Taylor on Saturday with a single nine-inning contest at 1 p.m. at Miller Athletic Complex.