Baseball conference play began this past Friday as the Leafs took on Grace College in the first of a four-game series.Played at Grace’s Winona Lake campus, the game stayed tight early as the score was tied 2-2 at the end of the third inning. However, in the fourth inning the Leafs took control and never looked back, scoring three runs in the fifth, one in the sixth, and then six in the seventh. Six different players ended up scoring for the Leafs. They were led by Sean Sears, a senior, who had two runs and three doubles.
The men didn’t sweep the evening, though, as they trailed early in the next game. After falling behind 9-0, the Leafs began to fight back, rallying in the seventh inning for four runs, led by freshman Clay Norris, who contributed two hits and two RBIs. Unfortunately, the effort was not enough as Goshen ended the game with a 9-5 loss.
On Saturday, the series concluded with two close games in Goshen. The first contest began by Grace taking the lead 4-1. But in the fourth inning, the Leafs bounced back with a four run inning to take the lead. The advantage was short-lived as Grace scored another two to make it a 6-6 tie going into the seventh inning. Nevertheless, the Leafs were able to pull out the win with Andy Swisher, a sophomore, batting for a single, and then Kraig Miller, a senior, hitting a two-out double to bring in a final run for the 7-6 win.
The second game proved to be a tight one with strong performances by pitchers from both teams: Miller from Goshen and Kier West of Grace. Grace scored one run in the second, which ended up being the difference, as Miller struck out nine others.
Coming up next on the schedule, the Leafs will finish the week with another four-game conference series against Huntington University.