Track & Field
Grace’s men’s track and field team fought through cold, windy conditions to take top team honors at the second annual Lancer Invitational on Saturday at the Bernard and Linnie Key Track and Field Complex.
The Lancers came out on top on the men’s side with a team score of 176, while the women placed sixth overall.
Cameron Johnson was most impressive winning the 110-meter hurdles in a blistering time of 15.01 seconds, setting a new school record.
Thomas Hickerson took the windy conditions head-on, winning his second javelin competition of the outdoor season with a PR of 167-feet.
Brady Willard, Jonathan Balda and Carter Meyer nearly swept the podium in the 800, finishing second, third and fourth respectively.
The Lancers placed well in the hammer throw, led by a first-place finish from Jacob Brown at 180-9, a runner-up showing from Isaac Stuckey and Walker Hobbs to round out the top three.
Ben Rankin earned a second-place showing in the 5000 at 16:09.34.
In the pole vault, Isaiah Zeller produced a first-place result coming in at 13-11.25.
On the women’s side, a pair of throwers finished on the podium with personal bests in their respective events. Emily Anderson placed second in the javelin with a throw of 107-5, and Brooke Treadway took home third place in the discus with a distance of 117-5.
Quinn Shelton finished fifth in both the 100 (13.27) and 200 (28.30).
Jesse Zvers and Karla Singer were fifth and sixth in the 1500, and Abbie Evans ended sixth in the hammer throw.
“It’s great for our team to get to compete at home. It’s only our second home meet ever, so it’s still a new thing for us,” said Grace head coach Jeff Raymond. “Despite being a bit windy, we were able to come up with some strong performances, and I think we are peaking just in time for the Crossroads League meet next week.”
The Lancers will turn their attention to the Crossroads League Championships to be held in Indianapolis beginning Thursday.
For the third straight year, Grace’s baseball team ended Senior Day with a walkoff victory.
The Lancers (8-31, 8-16 Crossroads League) completed a series sweep of Mt. Vernon Nazarene on Saturday with a 7-0, 9-8 set of wins.
The final game of the day stretched to 13 innings before Cameron Maxwell’s ground ball allowed Jaron Mullett to score the winning run, sending Grace’s players spilling onto the field in celebration.
Saturday, a windy and chilly afternoon, was filled with heroic senior moments for the graduating class of Austin Baker, William Swisher, Kyle Brunner and Josh Tew.
In the opener, Tew was the hero. Tew threw his first career shutout in a dominating performance over the Cougars (21-24, 10-17 CL). He struck out 10 batters while allowing just four hits and a walk.
Grace cruised to a 7-0 victory thanks to Tew’s pitching. The Lancers scored their first runs of the game in the second inning.
Grace had runners on first and second with two outs when Ethan Brooks singled to score David Anderson. Aggressive baserunning by Grace plated two more runs later to give the Lancers a 3-0 lead.
Grace added another run to its lead in the third courtesy of a sac-fly by Mullett, and Baker’s two-run double put the Lancers ahead 6-0.
Meanwhile, Tew continued to throw a gem on the mound. After the third inning, Tew retired nine straight Cougar hitters.
The Lancers added another run in the fifth inning after an RBI single by Maxwell to give Grace its final run of the game. Tew allowed a double in the seventh, but the runner was forced to stay put as Tew kept the four-hit shutout intact.
Maxwell led the offense with 3 hits, 2 RBIs and 1 run scored. Hunter Ackerman and Brooks had two hits each, and Baker added two RBIs to the cause in game one.
In the second game, Grace needed to rally on three separate occasions to secure the series sweep. MVNU pulled ahead 5-1 after the top of the sixth, but the Lancers tied the game with a four-run sixth.
Mullett and Spencer Mason plated in the sixth thanks to their speed on the base paths, and Baker tied the score with a two-out, two-run homer to left field.
The Cougars scored two more in the top of the seventh, and Grace still faced a 7-5 hole entering its final at-bats.
But in the bottom of the ninth, Grace rallied again. Houston Haney doubled and Anderson singled to put the tying runs on base. Haney scored after a ground ball from Swisher, and Anderson made the score 7-7 after a sacrifice fly by Mitchell Enyart.
MVNU tried to end the game with another run in the 10th, but again Grace showed its resilience to tie the score. The first two batters in the inning were retired for the Lancers, but Haney walked on the next at-bat. Anderson then produced a clutch double deep to the outfield, and Haney raced home to send the game into even more extra innings.
In the bottom of the 13th, Mullett reached base with a walk. He moved to third thanks to a hit batsman and an errant throw by the Cougars. That set the stage for Maxwell’s walkoff moment as his grounder proved too hard for MVNU’s second baseman to handle.
Brunner displayed a yeoman’s effort on the mound. Typically the team’s closer, Brunner was forced to throw a starter’s load as the game progressed into extra innings. He finished the game by throwing the final five innings with 110 pitches. He allowed only one run to score with six strikeouts.
Jordan Noska and Jacob Hammel were also effective in relief for Grace, setting the stage for Brunner’s memorable performance.
Baker was 3-for-6 from the plate with a run and two RBIs, and Anderson was 3-for-7. Haney plated three times and had two hits and two stolen bases, and Mullett had two hits and two runs.
The Lancers end the regular season with two more home dates. Grace hosts Taylor on Monday at 3 p.m. and Bethel on Tuesday at 1 p.m.
Grace’s softball team won a pair of defensive battles against Goshen on Saturday.
The Lady Lancers won 2-1 and 5-2 on Senior Day, giving Grace the chance to clinch a berth to the Crossroads League Tournament. Grace can secure a tournament appearance by winning at least one game on Monday in the regular season finale against Marian, or by seeing Goshen lose at least one game on Monday.
Grace won the opener despite struggling mightily on offense. The Lady Lancers (16-32, 10-24 CL) could only muster three hits but still won 2-1.
Hannah Middlebrooks pitched the complete game victory from the mound. The freshman gave up six hits on one run with three strikeouts.
Grace scored in the bottom of the first inning, and the hosts held the lead the rest of the way. Hannah Herbster reached base on an error and stole second. Kyleigh Garner then singled to bring in Herbster.
In the fifth, Abby Mozingo hit a two-out RBI single to plate Sam Heim for an important insurance run.
Goshen cut Grace’s lead to 2-1 in the sixth without recording a hit. The Maple Leafs (16-35-1, 8-24-1 CL) used two walks, a ground ball and a sacrifice fly to score.
Middlebrooks took care of the rest, shutting out the Maple Leafs for the rest of the contest.
Grace’s bats came alive in the second game, racking up 12 hits in a 5-2 victory. Grace’s speed on the basepaths also proved to play a factor as the Lady Lancers swiped seven bases.
The Lady Lancers scored again in the opening inning and maintained that lead. Heim and Mozingo started the game with back-to-back singles and immediately caused havoc on the basepaths. The pair stole bases, and Herbster put Grace ahead with an RBI single.
Both teams scored a run in the fourth inning, and the Lady Lancers tacked on two more insurance runs in the sixth. Paige Hlutke and Heim laid down squeeze bunts on back-to-back plays to give Grace a four-run lead.
Goshen used a solo home run in the top of the seventh to keep pressure on Grace, but Chandler Elliott pitched her way around the Maple Leafs to secure the victory.
Elliott threw the complete game, yielding seven hits and two runs in a strong effort.
Heim hit 3-for-4 with 3 stolen bases, 1 run and 1 RBI, and Britney Young was 2-for-3 with two runs. Ashley Kleinbub had 2 hits, 1 run and 1 steal, and Hlutke was a perfect 2-for-2 with a pair of runs driven in.
The Lady Lancers end the regular season on Monday, playing at 3 p.m. doubleheader at No. 2 Marian.