Asbury Baseball 9, Grace 2
Grace 7, Asbury 5
After more than 11 months away from the diamond, Grace’s baseball team finally got back to playing on Thursday.
The Lancers enjoyed an opening-day doubleheader against Asbury, falling in the first game 9-2 before winning the second game 7-5.
The season openers were played at UC Health Stadium, home of the Florence Y’alls.
Grace struck first in the top of the first inning of the first game. Alex Rich led off the season with a walk and soon after stole second base. Houston Haney then laced a two-out triple to drive in Rich.
On the next at-bat, Jeff Pawlik doubled to right field to give Grace a 2-0 lead.
Unfortunately for the Lancers, they did not score again in the contest. Asbury was muted until the third inning when the Eagles erupted for four runs. Asbury tacked on a five-run sixth inning to effectively end the game.
Austin Carr finished 2 for 2 with a double, Pawlik was 2 for 3 with an RBI and Rich was 2 for 3 with a run scored.
Houston Haney was the opening day starter, throwing five innings with four strikeouts.
The second game had the opposite script. Asbury started the game scoring, plating five times in the bottom of the first.
But the Lancers refused to be daunted by the 5-0 deficit, slowly eating away at Asbury’s lead.
In the top of the second, Carr launched a two-run double to score Pawlik and Tyler Cwik. Carr scored two batters later off an RBI single from Dalton Turner.
Grace pulled itself to within one with a two-out rally in the fifth. After the first two batters in the inning were retired, RJ Snyder reached base on a ground ball. He scampered to second on a passed ball and then came home off a single from Haney.
Mason Meyer entered the game in relief and pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the bottom of the fifth, setting the stage for a Grace comeback.
In the top of the sixth, Grace used another two-out rally to take the lead. Carr singled with two outs to start the rally.
Isaiah Herbster stepped in to pinch hit and promptly singled. Turner then laced a two-run double to left field, giving Grace the lead at 6-5.
On the next at-bat, Rich singled to right field to bring in Turner for an insurance run.
Evan Etchison took care of the rest from the mound. The freshman hurler faced the minimum six batters over the final two innings, using two strikeouts and a double play to record the save. Carr, Turner and Pawlik turned the game-ending double play to secure the 7-5 win for Grace.
Kameron Koch tossed the first four innings from the mound, and Meyer had the win in relief.
Carr finished the game 2 for 3 from the plate with two runs and two RBIs, and Turner was 2 for 3 with three RBIs.
Sam Newkirk recorded two hits, and Patrick Danforth scored a run.
The four-game series with Asbury will conclude with another doubleheader on Friday beginning at 12 p.m.