Lancers come up empty against Huntington
*story written by Cole Helman Grace College
Huntington, Ind. — Grace’s baseball team hit the road on Friday to continue its crossroads league season. The Lancers dropped both games of the doubleheader against the Foresters.
The Lancers (1-18, 1-4 Crossroads League) competed well in both games, but they struggled to string several hits together. Grace’s defense struggled to handle Huntington’s small ball approach.
In the second inning of game one, the Lancers were able to get out to a quick 3-0. Gabe Douglass and Will Swisher found themselves starting the inning at first and second to start the inning. Plate discipline would come in handy for the Lancers as two straight walks allowed the first run of the game to score. Ethan Brooks would keep the rally going with an RBI single to left field. Another walk with the bases loaded scored Grace’s third run of the game. Austin Baker almost cleared the bases, but his towering fly ball was caught on the warning track.
Logan Swartzentruber got the start on the mound for Grace. He started out strong by setting the first three Huntington (5-12, 3-0 CL) batters in order. A one-out walk in the second inning would prove costly as a double would score Huntington’s first run of the day.
Grace struggled to build off its momentum from the second inning. Douglass would lead off the third inning with a single, but he would not move from first base. Huntington continued to chip away at the Lancer lead. A sacrifice fly would make the score 3-2 heading to the fourth inning.
The Foresters took control of the game in the fourth inning. Four hits and a hit by pinch in the inning would result in Huntington taking a 5-3 lead. Grace could not respond. Houston Haney would walk to start the fifth, but the Lancers would strand another runner at first.
Huntington continued to pile on in the bottom half of the fifth. Three runs in the inning would make the score 8-3, and all but put the game out a reach. The Lancers would not get a baserunner for the rest of the game. The Foresters won game one 8-3.
Douglass, Brooks and Will Swisher all had one hit each. Swartzentruber tallied two strikeouts and five earned runs in four innings pitched. Jordan Noska tossed a no-hit sixth inning with two strikeouts.
Grace was forced to play from behind for most of game two. The Lancers improved on offense from the previous game, but they were unable to come up with clutch hits at key moments.
The Lancers tried to jump back out to another early lead. After a Cam Maxwell single, Mitchell Enyart made his way to the plate with two outs. A double by Enyart was almost enough to score Maxwell, but he was thrown out at the plate thanks to a well executed relay by the Forester defense.
Aaron Voirol got the start on the mound for game two. After a quick first inning, he began to struggle in the second. After two quick outs, the Huntington bats came to life. A walk followed by four straight hits gave the Forestors a 4-0 lead.
It seemed like the Lancers would come up with some runs of their own in the fourth. Douglass doubled to lead off the inning, followed by a Will Swisher hit by pitch. This gave runners on first and second with no outs; however, a caught line drive to the third baseman resulted in the runner at second getting doubled up. A strikeout would end the inning with Grace coming up empty.
Huntington added another run to its lead in the fifth inning to make the school 5-0. The damage was limited thanks to Maxwell throwing out a runner stealing home on a first-and-third play. The Foresters would plate three more runs on four hits in the sixth to make the score 8-0.
Grace would take advantage of three Huntington errors to score its first two runs of game two. Hunter Ackerman would drive in the Lancers’ third run of the game with a double down the left-field line. Huntington would put the finishing touches on the game in the eighth inning, as they added three more runs on five hits. The Foresters would go on to win the second game 11-3.
Enyart led Grace’s attack with two hits and a run scored. The Lancers tallied eight hits total in game two. Voirol finished with 4.2 innings pitched, 5 earned runs and 6 strikeouts.
The Lancers will look to pick up a win in the series when they face Huntington again tomorrow. First pitch takes place at 2 p.m.