VERO BEACH, Fla. – Grace’s baseball team picked up its seventh straight win in the sweetest way imaginable — with a sweep of Bethel over the weekend.
The Lancers (7-3, 3-0 Crossroads League) won all three games in the series against the Pilots to start the league season on a perfect note.
Grace erupted for 30 runs in the series. On Friday, Grace set the tone for the series with a 13-6 victory.
The Lancers had 15 hits in the game, including a 3-for-3 performance by Hunter Ackerman with three runs scored. David Anderson hit 3-for-6 with two runs and two RBIs.
Over the first four innings, Grace jumped ahead early with seven runs. After a four-run burst by the Pilots in the bottom of the fourth made the game closer, Grace’s pitching staff kept Bethel from making further progress.
Jacob Hammel pitched a clean inning of relief with three strikeouts, and Jordan Noska took care of the rest. Noska allowed just one run to score over the final four innings to secure the victory.
RJ Snyder was 2-for-6 with 2 runs, 2 RBIs and 1 stolen base, and Sam Newkirk finished 2-for-5 with two runs scored.
On Saturday, Grace’s pitching continued to tie Bethel’s bats in knots. The Pilots mustered only three runs in the doubleheader.
The first game on Saturday from Grace was a dominant 14-2 rout. The Lancers scored a run in five of the seven innings, racking up 16 hits.
Houston Haney was electric at the plate, going 4-of-4 with one run and six RBIs, and Ethan Brooks finished 2-for-4 with 2 runs, 4 RBIs and 1 home run.
Jaron Mullett produced 3 runs, 2 hits, 2 walks and 1 RBI from the leadoff position, and Chris Griffin was a perfect 2-for-2 with two runs scored.
From the mound, Anderson tossed a complete game gem. He allowed two runs — one earned — with seven strikeouts and seven hits with two walks in an efficient outing. He also batted 2-for-5 with an RBI.
The final game of the series was a pitchers’ duel. Josh Tew and Ike Peterson came out ahead in the 9-inning bout.
Tew silenced Bethel to the tune of 5 hits, 2 walks and 1 run over seven innings to get the win. Peterson came in as relief; the freshman hurler yielded just one hit with three strikeouts in two innings for the save.
Grace took the lead for good in the third inning. Snyder started the inning with a double, and Haney drove him in with another double. On the next at-bat, Xavier Harris’s sacrifice fly scored Anderson.
Harris then added an insurance run in the top of the seventh with a two-out double to plate Haney.
Haney was 3-for-4 with a run and an RBI, Harris hit 2-for-3 with two RBIs, and Griffin hit 2-for-4.
The Lancers return home over the weekend. Grace will play a doubleheader at Calumet St. Joseph on Tuesday, starting at 2 p.m.