By Nick Wesman
The Maple Leafs baseball team fell twice at home in a double-header to Grace College in a non-conference matchup on Saturday.
The Lancers built up a commanding 8-0 lead early during the first game and never looked back. Goshen managed to mount a three-run rally in the second inning, but that proved to be the only offense the Leafs could muster all day. The Lancers only built on their lead after that, adding three more runs for an 11-3 victory.
In game two, the Leafs just couldn’t figure out Lancers’ ace Clifford Buttermore, as the sophomore worked a complete game, in the process allowing only three hits and striking out 14 Maple Leafs. The wins moved the Lancers’ record to 10-7 while the Leafs dropped to 5-15 on the season.
On Tuesday, the Maple Leafs traveled to Defiance College in Ohio for their last tune-up before conference play begins on Thursday. Playing through a cold, windy, and rainy day the Leafs could not muster much offense, as they only amassed five hits on the day. A big second inning saw the Yellow Jackets score five runs on only two hits. That inning, the Maple Leafs hit three batters, walked two, made an error and they never recovered. The Yellow Jackets added four more runs over the course of the rest of the game and took a 9-2 decision in the single nine-inning game.
The Leafs only scoring came from an RBI singles by sophomores Cory Johnson in the fifth and first baseman Caleb Yoder in the eighth. Johnson led the team with two hits, while senior Omar Hernandez added a double. Yoder and freshman Taylor Jergens added the only other hits for the Leafs.
The win gave the Yellow Jackets a 3-10 record while the Maple Leafs fell to 5-16. The Leafs play again Thursday at conference rival Bethel in their first MCC conference match-up of the season.