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Grace closes season in CL title game

UPLAND, Ind. – A memorable run through the 2019 Crossroads League Tournament ended on Wednesday for Grace’s baseball team.

The Lancers lost 14-6 to Marian in the tournament championship game, hosted by Taylor University. The Knights (30-19) beat the Lancers on back-to-back days, squelching Grace’s dreams of a conference crown.

The game started brightly for Grace on a clear, 70-degree day. David Anderson and Sam Newkirk started the game with singles, and Anderson scored on a single by Mitchell Enyart. But with the bases loaded and one out, the Lancers (17-27) were retired with a double play.

Marian wasted little time responding. The Knights countered with four runs in the bottom of the first, benefitting from a pair of walks and a hit batsman.

The Knights were not finished, however. Marian tacked on two more runs in the second inning to take a commanding 6-1 lead.

Grace’s bats were silent from the second to the fourth, and Marian struck again in the bottom of the fourth. The Knights doubled three times and plated six runs.

The Lancers broke out of their slump in the top of the fifth, putting four runs on the scoreboard to make the score 12-5. Anderson and Newkirk had back-to-back singles again to begin the inning, and Enyart drove in both with a single.

On the next at-bat, Ethan Brooks scored another run with an RBI single, and Jacob Sapp ended the scoring with a two-out single to plate Enyart.

Anderson moved from center field to the mound in the bottom of the fifth, and he was sharp in a relief appearance. Anderson did not allow Marian to score for the next three innings, but Grace could not make a significant rally on offense.

The Lancers’ only other run came in the top of the eighth when Xavier Harris’s double brought in Newkirk.

Newkirk finished the day 3 for 5 with two runs scored, Enyart had 2 hits, 1 run and 3 RBIs, and Anderson was 2 for 5 with a run.

The Lancers achieved a number of accomplishments under co-interim head coaches Ryan Roth and Tom Roy.

Grace finished the regular season with 10 Crossroads League victories, third-most in team history. Grace’s 17 wins overall this year were also the third-most since 1972. The Lancers also reached the tournament championship game for the first time and were one win away from qualifying for the program’s first NAIA Nationals.