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Grace wins series finale with SAU

SPRING ARBOR, Mich. – Grace’s baseball team concluded its four-game series with Spring Arbor on a positive note.

The Lancers split the doubleheader on Saturday, falling 8-5 in the opener before winning 7-1 to end the day.

Grace was only outhit 8-7 in the first game, but the Cougars were efficient to turn their hits into runs.

Seven of SAU’s eight hits in the opener went for extra bases, including 4 doubles, 2 triples and 1 homer. Spring Arbor plated five times in the second inning and three times in the fourth, and Grace was unable to catch up.

The Lancers still had chances, scoring three runs in the sixth and another in the seventh. But Grace left multiple runners on base three times over the final four innings, allowing the Cougars to hold on for the win.

Jake Decker pitched the final 4.2 innings for Grace, yielding one earned run with two hits and four strikeouts.

Chris Griffin hit 3 for 4 with 2 runs, 1 double and 1 RBI, and Alex Rich was 2 for 5 with 1 double, 1 run and 1 stolen base.

In the second game, Grace jumped out to a 5-0 lead through its half of the fourth inning. Griffin doubled in the opening inning to plate Jaron Mullet for the game’s first run.

Grace seized control of the game with a four-run fourth. The first six batters reached base safely, including run-scoring hits by Sam Newkirk, Rich and Griffin.

The Cougars scored once in the bottom of the fourth, but Grace quickly retaliated with two more in the top of the fifth. Dalton Turner and Colin Carr had back-to-back doubles to kickstart the Lancers’ inning.

In the end, Grace only needed a few runs to win thanks to the sterling pitching performance from Kameron Koch.

Koch pitched a complete game, allowing five hits and one run. He walked three and struck out three to earn the win from the mound.

Griffin hit 2 for 4 with two RBIs, Turner batted 2 for 4 with two runs scored, and Jeff Pawlik was 2 for 4 with a stolen base.

The Lancers’ next doubleheader is Tuesday against IU South Bend. The games are scheduled for 4 p.m. in Granger, Ind.