Grigsby’s 11 Ks propel Lancers past USF
FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Logan Grigsby’s 11-strikeout performance led Grace College baseball to its third Crossroads League victory of the 2017 campaign Wednesday afternoon. The Lancers put in one of their best performances of the year against St. Francis, besting the Cougars 12-2.
Grigsby got the start for Grace, and he almost went the distance. He tossed seven innings, giving up two earned runs on six hits as he tied his career high with 11 strikeouts. He was backed by a motivated Lancer lineup who put up 12 runs in the ballgame and played error-free defense in the field.
The Cougars (9-25-1, 2-7 CL) struck first in the second inning after taking advantage of two passed balls to take a 1-0 lead. Grace struggled to drive in runs through the first four innings. The Lancers (11-15-1, 3-6 CL) stranded two runners on base three innings in a row before finally plating three runs in the fifth.
In the sixth inning, Grace had the bases loaded with two outs. Xavier Harris hit a rocket down the third base line which was snatched up with a diving grab by the third baseman. Hunter Ackerman had a large secondary lead and hustled to beat the fielder to the bag, keeping the inning alive and scoring another run.
The seventh inning is when the bats came alive for the Lancers. Control issues plagued St. Francis’s pitchers, and Grace took advantage. A walk followed by RBI hits from Shay Hepler, Ethan Brooks and Cameron Maxwell helped extend the Lancers’ lead. Two hit by pitches preceded an RBI hit by Jamar Bray to put Grace ahead 11-1.
Noah Freimuth led off the bottom of the seventh for the Cougars with a solo home run to keep the game alive. Grace increased its lead back to 10 in the eighth. With two outs, Matthew Warren doubled, and he scored on the next play on a single from Maxwell.
Kyle Brunner took the mound in the eighth to finish the game for the Lancers. He set down St. Francis in order to end the game with Grace winning 12-2; the game was shortened due to the run rule.
Maxwell and Warren had three hits each to lead the Lancers’ offense. Hepler had two hits with an RBI and a run scored, while Ackerman worked four walks with two runs scored. Harris and Maxwell had two RBIs each.
Freimuth and Kansas Varner were the two main contributors for St. Francis. Varner went 3-for-3 while Freimuth went 2-for-3 with an RBI.
Grace has three critical league games coming up this weekend when they host Marian for a three-game series. The first game takes place Friday at 3 p.m.