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Grace sweeps Bethel to end series

MASON, Ohio – Grace’s baseball team clinched its Crossroads League-opening series against Bethel on Saturday, sweeping the Pilots 8-0 and 14-5.

The Lancers split a doubleheader on Friday but were in command throughout the twin bill on Saturday.

The wins improve Grace’s record to 6-4 (3-1 CL). The series was played at Prasco Park in Mason, Ohio.

Kameron Koch threw a gem to beat the Pilots in Saturday’s opener. Koch went eight innings, allowing no runs on five hits and a walk. He struck out seven, needing 98 pitches in an effective outing.

Grace pulled ahead 4-0 after four innings behind the pitching of Koch. Chris Griffin gave Grace a boost with a two-run home run in the third inning.

The Lancers put any thoughts of a comeback to rest with a four-run eighth inning. Austin Carr and Alex Rich both drove in runs during the inning.

Bret Wilhelmi put the finishing touches on Grace’s shutout. He pitched a clean ninth inning to secure the victory.

Rich hit 2 for 5 with two RBIs, and Carr was 2 of 3 with two RBIs and a sacrifice. Jaron Mullet doubled and scored twice, and Patrick Danforth finished with 2 hits, 1 run, 1 RBI and 1 stolen base.

In the second game, Grace needed to battle back from an early deficit. And they did just that in impressive fashion.

Bethel shocked Grace in the top of the first inning, plating five times thanks to a two-run double and a two-run triple.

The Lancers patiently ate away at Bethel’s cushion. Jeff Pawlik drove in Rich in the bottom of the first to start the comeback.

Houston Haney was responsible for two more runs in the third. Haney tripled to score Griffin. Soon after, a passed ball allowed Haney to race home and cut the lead to 5-3.

One inning later, Grace tied the game. Carr and Danforth used sharp base running to tie the game 5-5.

Momentum was firmly in Grace’s corner for the rest of the game. The Lancers took the lead for good with a five-run outburst in the fifth inning. Carr drove in two runs with a single, and Danforth added a two-run triple on the next at-bat.

Grace plated four more times in the bottom of the sixth for the final 15-4 margin of victory.

Mason Meyer earned the win on the mound. He threw the final 6.1 innings and yielded just one hit and one walk. Meyer recorded seven strikeouts.

Griffin batted 4 for 5 with three runs, and Mullet scored twice, walked twice and drove in a run.

Carr and Danforth had identical stat lines – 2 for 3 with two runs and three RBIs.

Grace’s next scheduled games are against Aquinas on Wednesday, beginning at 1 p.m. in Logansport, Ind.