Grace wins second straight game

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. – Grace’s baseball team improved to 3-1 in Florida after a 7-4 victory against Siena Heights on Tuesday.

The Lancers (4-7) used a balanced offensive production and strong pitching to outlast the Saints (0-13).

Both teams scored in the first inning, and the Saints led 3-2 after two innings.

Grace scored two runs in the bottom of the first when Chris Griffin and Alex Rich crossed home plate.

The Lancers took the lead with a two-run fourth, scoring on a two-run homer by Sam Newkirk. But the Saints rallied in the top of the fifth to tie the game at 4-4.

Grace manufactured three runs over the next two innings, and the Lancers’ pitching took care of the rest.

In the bottom of the sixth, Griffin singled to lead off the frame, and Rich was hit by a pitch. They were left on base as the next two Lancers were retired.

But David Anderson laced a two-out, two-run triple to give Grace the lead for good at 6-4.

The Lancers found an insurance run in the seventh thanks to a two-out RBI double from Newkirk.

Grace’s bullpen handled the rest of the game from the mound. Jake Decker, Mason Meyer and Bret Wilhelmi combined to pitch the final six innings, yielding just one run between them.

Decker struck out four in four innings, allowing one run and three hits to earn the victory. Wilhelmi tossed a scoreless ninth inning to record the save.

Newkirk finished the day 2 of 4 with one run and three RBIs, and Rich was hit by two pitches, scored twice and also had a hit.

The Lancers are back on the diamond Friday and Saturday for a three-game series with Bethel. The games will count as the first Crossroads League competitions of the season.

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