Grace’s baseball team was unable to top Goshen in a pair of contests on Wednesday.
The Lancers lost 8-6 in a nine-inning Crossroads League game and ended the day with a 6-5 defeat in a nonleague game. The nonleague contest was a continuation of a game on Feb. 18 that was suspended due to weather after three innings.
Grace was unable to generate a consistent offense in the opening game. The six runs from the Lancers (5-26, 5-12 CL) occurred in just two innings of work. The Maple Leafs (18-21, 10-11 CL), on the other hand, plated a run in five of the first six innings.
Austin Baker got Grace on the scoreboard in the third inning with a two-out, two-run double.
Baker repeated his act with a two-run double in the fifth inning, driving in Ethan Brooks and Cameron Maxwell.
Later in the inning, David Anderson’s sacrifice fly scored Houston Haney, and Jaron Mullett’s RBI single brought in Branden Scott to momentarily give Grace a 6-5 lead.
Goshen responded with a run in the fifth to even the score and two go-ahead runs in the sixth inning. Grace was unable to move a baserunner past second base over the final four frames to lose by two.
Baker batted 2-for-5 with four RBIs, and Brooks was 2-for-4 with two runs scored. Maxwell plated twice, and Hunter Ackerman had a hit and a stolen base.
Logan Swartzentruber struck out five batters in 4.1 innings as the starter, and Jordan Noska pitched a clean inning of relief with two strikeouts.
The second game was picked up in the middle of action due to the suspended play on Feb. 18. Goshen led 3-0 at the point of continuation, and Grace was unable to recover from that deficit over the final three innings.
In the top of the fourth, Anderson, Sid Elford and Maxwell all singled to start a rally. Maxwell’s single brought in Anderson, and Mullett then singled with two outs to score Elford.
In the fifth, Baker singled and stole second base. He reached third on a wild pitch and came around to score on a ground ball from Anderson.
The Maple Leafs added insurance runs to lead 6-3 heading into Grace’s final at-bats in the seventh. Anderson reached base and eventually scored on two errors in the seventh, and Aaron Voirol scored as a pinch runner after Mullett singled, making the score 6-5. But with the tying run on second base, Grace was retired with a pop out to the infield.
Mullett was a perfect 3-for-3 with two RBIs, and Baker had 1 run, 1 hit and 1 stolen base. Anderson plated twice, and Maxwell had a hit and a run driven in.
Both Swartzentruber and Josh Tew struck out five batters in three innings from the mound.
The Lancers return home for a three-game series over the weekend against Spring Arbor. Grace will play a single nine-inning game on Friday at 4 p.m. followed by a doubleheader Saturday at 1 p.m.
Grace’s softball team dropped a pair of road games at No. 11 Indiana Wesleyan on Wednesday by the scores of 7-3 and 6-0.
The Lady Lancers (10-24, 4-16 Crossroads League) looked to start out on the right track, scoring first but then gave up five runs in the bottom of the first and never regained control. The second of the two contests Grace was held hitless and struggled offensively.
In the opener, Grace jumped ahead in the first inning. Chandler Elliott’s RBI single allowed Sam Heim to cross home plate for the first run of the game.
The Wildcats (37-6, 18-4 CL) would make short work of that lead by scoring five runs in the bottom of the first and would not relinquish the lead for the rest of the game.
The two other runs for the Lady Lancers both came in the third inning. Herbster was able to score off an RBI double down the right field line from Elliott. Then a delayed steal from Ashley Kleinbub caused a miss throw, and Elliott was able to score from third.
Elliott led Grace by batting 2-for-4 with one run and two RBIs. Grace had seven hits concluding the first game, but no other player had multiple hits.
Elliott also was strong from the mound. She entered the contest in the first inning as a reliever and quickly got three outs. Elliott went on to pitch the rest of the game, yielding two unearned runs with two walks and five strikeouts.
The second game was defined by IWU pitcher Mckenzy Ridge, who threw a no-hitter to blank Grace.
IWU held a slight 1-0 lead through four innings as Grace was stifled at the plate. The Wildcats racked up five more runs in the bottom of the fifth, and the Lady Lancers could not produce any firepower at the plate.
Kyleigh Garner had two of Grace’s three walks in the game, and Morgan Tapscott earned the third walk.
The Lady Lancers are scheduled to be on the road Thursday at Taylor, starting at 4 p.m.
In the final tuneup for the Crossroads League Championships, Grace’s men’s golf team placed fourth out of 11 teams at the A.C. Eddy Invitational.
The Lancers put two players in the top-10 of the individual leaderboard, led by Chad Spencer who shot 72 for fifth place. The tournament was hosted by Trine at the Zollner Golf Course.
Tristan Nienhuis was one stroke behind Spencer, ending in a tie for ninth place overall.
Jacob Kennedy, who played as an individual, shot 75, while Isaiah Brown carded a 76. Tim Rata’s 79 and Cameron Bates’s 80 wrapped up Grace’s scoring.
The Lancers will tackle the Crossroads League Championships on April 23-24 at Purgatory Golf Course.